Following its long-term research plan of focusing on neurological diseases, Japan’s Takeda has announced a collaboration with US pharmaceutical company BridGene Biosciences to initiate five hard-to-drug neurodegenerative disease programs and develop small molecule drugs. BridGene is eligible to receive over $500 Million in potential upfront and milestone payments.
Partnership to Identify Small Molecule for Undruggable Targets
The strategic partnership fits Takeda’s long-term research plan. The Japanese drugmaker will receive access to BridGene’s Chemoproteomics platform, namely IMTAC (Isobaric Mass Tagged Affinity Characterization), to identify undruggable targets and develop candidates along with clinical trials.
According to the Co-Founder and CEO of BridGene, Ping Cao, Ph.D., IMTAC employs covalent small molecules to bind to hard-to-drug targets and chemoproteomics to understand what facilitates the characteristics of disease onset and progression. The platform is able to identify the targets that a small molecule drug candidate interacts with.
Under the agreement, the upfront payment is for access to IMTAC, and Takeda will be given exclusive rights to research, develop and commercialize up to five validated targets. The first research program would be finding targets that lead to a neurodegenerative disease phenotype that is modifiable by small molecules in a phenotypic screen. Then, Takeda can initiate an additional four programs.
With this collaboration, BridGene stands to receive over $500 million in milestone payments, including preclinical, clinical, and commercial milestones and royalties.
Collaboration with Anima
In mid-March, Takeda struck a deal with Anima Biotech, a small molecule biotech to develop three drugs for genetically-defined neurological diseases.
The cooperation involved Anima’s Translation Control Therapeutics platform that will strive to find novel mRNA translation modulators. Takeda will get the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize those candidates.
The collaboration includes Anima’s early Huntington’s Disease program against the huntingtin (HTT) target, selectively preventing the mutated protein with small molecules. Takeda can initiate two more neurological targets and have the option to add one more before a set date.
Anima will receive $120 million in upfront payments and up to $1.2 billion in milestone payments and royalties if Takeda added three research targets, or up to $1.1 billion if Takeda only manages two before the set date.
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