Takeda Pharmaceutical (TYO:4502), through its subsidiary Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Molecular Templates said today that the companies inked a deal to collaborate on an oncology drug discovery program.
The deal is slated to combine Molecular Templates’ engineered toxin bodies platform with therapeutic targets provided by Takeda.
According to the agreement, Takeda will make an equity investment and Molecular Templates could receive upfront payments and milestone payments of undisclosed amounts.
Takeda has also agreed to royalties on the sales of any commercial products developed through the partnership, according to the company.
“Over the past year, Takeda has expanded its collaborations in the oncology space with the aim of accessing highly-innovative platforms to target specific tumor antigens using novel payloads and modality approaches,” Christopher Arendt, head of Takeda’s oncology DDU & immunology unit, said in prepared remarks. “In fact, we had already been working with the Molecular Templates team on a program that we have the option to in-license. The announcement of today’s collaboration with Molecular Templates allows us to extend this partnership and leverage their potentially groundbreaking approach to address additional tumors types, including solid tumors. The Molecular Templates team is outstanding, and we look forward to expanding our partnership.”
Takeda can exercise exclusive options to obtain license rights to products created from the collaboration, according to the deal, and Molecular Templates would be responsible for the manufacture and supply of products licensed for development by Takeda through Phase I.
“This collaboration is an exciting opportunity to develop a new class of oncology therapeutics by applying our modified Shiga-like toxin fusion proteins to Takeda’s world-class oncology target portfolio,” Molecular Templates’ CEO & scientific officer Eric Poma said. “Takeda’s oncology expertise and drug development capabilities represent unique assets for combination with our approach to targeting and destroying cancer cells, and we look forward to developing products via this new avenue of oncology research.”