Osaka, Japan and London, UK - 9 May 2017 - Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) and GammaDelta Therapeutics Ltd, an Abingworth portfolio company, announced today that they have formed a strategic collaboration to develop GammaDelta Therapeutics’ novel T cell platform, which is based on the unique properties of gamma delta (γδ) T cells derived from human tissues. The companies intend to use this novel platform to discover and develop new immunotherapies, with the aim of treating a broad range of cancers, including solid tumours, and autoinflammatory diseases.
“The pioneering research developed by Professor Adrian Hayday and Dr. Oliver Nussbaumer at King’s College London and the Francis Crick Institute, the scientific founders of our company, forms the basis for the development of potentially transformational treatments for cancer and autoinflammatory diseases,” said Dr Paolo Paoletti, MD, CEO of GammaDelta Therapeutics. “We believe the collaboration with Takeda validates our novel approach and should allow us to move rapidly to the clinic.”
Takeda, together with Abingworth, will commit up to $100 million in funding to accelerate GammaDelta Therapeutics led Research and Development. The funding includes an equity investment, an option fee and research and development funding, and provides Takeda the exclusive right to purchase GammaDelta Therapeutics. Under the agreement, Takeda will appoint a director to GammaDelta Therapeutics’ board.
“At Takeda, we recognize the enormous potential of tissue resident γδ T cells to deliver transformative medicines in our core therapeutic areas of oncology and gastroenterology,” said Daniel Curran, MD, Head of the Center for External Innovation, Takeda. “This collaboration is another example of our strategy to invest in highly innovative areas of science and we’re pleased to collaborate with the experienced team at GammaDelta Therapeutics as they aim to take a leadership position in this rapidly emerging field.”
“We are delighted by the progress GammaDelta Therapeutics has made since we founded the company in 2016,” said Tim Haines, Managing Partner at Abingworth and a Director at GammaDelta Therapeutics. “This collaboration with Takeda will enable the company to advance the development of this exciting technology, which has the potential to address significant unmet needs in cancer and autoinflammatory diseases.”
Takeda signed certain of the agreements with GammaDelta Therapeutics through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.