Takeda strikes deals to boost pipeline

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Takeda, Alzheimer's disease

Takeda signs two new research collaborations in the areas of
Alzheimer's disease and antibody-based drugs, in a move to bolster
its product pipeline.

Japanese drugmaker Takeda has entered into a €20 million, four-year research collaboration with Evotec Neurosciences, a subsidiary of Germany's Evotec OAI, to identify drug targets in Alzheimer's disease.

Meanwhile, Takeda has also licensed rights to a strain of mouse developed by Medarex and Kirin Brewery that is used for the production of fully-human antibodies. The two latest deals fit with Takeda's strategy of using licensing to shore up what some consider a weak product pipeline.

Under the terms of the agreement with Evotec Neurosciences, the German company will make a database of Alzheimer's targets available to Takeda, and will also validate a number of targets that will form the basis of new drug discovery programs at the Japanese firm.

Alzheimer's disease remains a poorly-treated condition, with the only established drug class (the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors) providing modest improvements at best in the memory and cognitive deficits that afflict sufferers of the disease.

A second class of Alzheimer's drugs, the glutamate NMDA antagonists, made its pan-European debut earlier this year. The lead product in this category, Merz+Co's Axura (memantine), is a welcome addition to the armamentarium of treatments for Alzheimer's, but some of the lustre was wiped off in June when it failed to show a significant improvement in cognition when added to an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.

Takeda, like many other companies, has had its fingers burned developing drugs for Alzheimer's disease; the company was recently forced to abandon development of an in-house developed drug candidate, and is looking to partnerships to support its ambitions in this area.

Meanwhile, in its agreement with Kirin Brewery, Takeda become the first Japanese customer for the TC Mouse and will work with Kirin to develop antibody-based therapeutics produced using this platform. The latter company will receive milestone and royalty payments from Takeda, based on progress in development and sales of the antibodies.

Related topics: Preclinical Research

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