Takeda looks to BioXcel to help repurpose old assets for new rare disease indications

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Takeda looks to BioXcel to help repurpose old assets for new rare disease indications

Related tags Orphan drug Pharmacology

Takeda’s development center in the US has agreed to partner with BioXcel, a cloud-based big data solution provider, to repurpose old medicines to help treat rare diseases. 

Under the partnership, Takeda will gain access to BioXcel’s Big Data Innovation Lab – a product discovery engine – and PharmGPS Orphan Disease Suite for drug discovery and repurposing.

Krishnan Nandabalan, President and CSO of BioXcel, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com, “Essentially we’ve been assessing drug pipelines for the past decade and we’re in the business of assessing if a drug will work or not…what has changed in the past couple of years is the access to cloud-based computing and the large volume of clinical, scientific and commercial data​.”  

He also explained that the innovation lab, which launched last year, can “very rapidly utilize large volumes of data​” in order to help a more standard process of drug discovery. And though no drugs have been approved yet as a result of BioXcel’s work, Nandabalan said some of the company’s partnerships, which tend to last about a year, are still in the midst of discovery.

As far as the PharmGPS suite, Takeda will use it to search through more than 9,000 rare and ultra-rare diseases, 4,000-5,000 associated genes, 1,500 disease pathways, and distinct target-indication tiles for antibody, protein, RNA, small molecule and gene therapy modalities. Partners can make informed decisions related to rare disease indications, and associate the ideal mode of pharmacotherapy, factoring in strategic, medical, scientific and commercial considerations.

The suite also enables the commercialization of orphan drugs via de novo drug discovery, or repurposing and reformulation of clinical assets based on disease severity, gene ontology, disease pathways, proteinopathy, standard of care, emerging innovation, enabling technologies, and current drug pipeline.

Commenting on the partnership, BioXcel’s CEO and Chairman, Vimal Mehta, added, "We are pleased that Takeda will leverage our expertise in rare and ultra rare diseases to support their innovation and portfolio expansion initiatives. Discovering novel applications for existing molecules is an increasingly attractive strategy to address patient needs, while capitalizing on previous investments and de-risking clinical development. Our Big Data Innovation Lab facilitates the repurposing of the most attractive candidates applicable to a given disease​."

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