2021-10-15| Licensing

Takeda Collaborates with Immusoft to Advance Treatments in Rare Metabolic Diseases

by Te-Yueh Lin
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On October 13th, Takeda signed a research collaboration and license option agreement with Immusoft, a cell therapy company focusing on developing novel therapies for rare diseases. This is Takeda’s third deal announcement in the last two weeks after the gene therapy pacts with Selecta Biosciences and Poseida Therapeutics.

The latest collaboration with Immusoft will focus on delivering protein therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier to treat rare inherited metabolic disorders with central nervous system (CNS) manifestations and complications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will be responsible for further preclinical/clinical development, commercialization, and the exclusive license option of the programs at the preclinical stage. Immusoft will receive undisclosed research funding and a potential value of more than $900 million if all options and milestones are executed and achieved during the collaboration.

Related Article: Takeda Inks $3.6 Billion Deal with Poseida to Advance Non-Viral Gene Therapies and Overcome Safety Issues


Focus On Rare Diseases

Takeda aspires to develop treatments for rare diseases in immunology, hematology, and metabolic disorders. Rare genetic and metabolic diseases have variations in symptoms and progress differently from person to person.

Takeda also aims to help reduce the amount of time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis, and boost the development of innovative new treatments for rare diseases.

“We continue to build our internal capabilities as well as partner with innovative companies early on in the discovery process to advance our next-generation gene and cell therapy ambitions for rare genetic and hematologic diseases,” said Takeda Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit Head Madhu Natarajan. “Working together with Immusoft, we hope to validate their ISP technology for CNS delivery of innovative therapeutics for rare neurometabolic diseases.”

Related Article: Anti-cancer Agent Derived From Himalayan Caterpillar Fungus Shines in Early Trials


Immusoft’s First Major Partnership

Founded in 2009, Immusoft has so far raised a total of $37.3M in funding over 11 rounds. Among the five candidates it has in its pipeline for monogenic diseases, three are in the IND-enabling stage.

The Seattle-based company has developed its proprietary Immune System Programming (ISPTM) platform to continuously deliver protein therapeutics from the patient’s B cells. After programming B cells by ISPTM and expanding the number of needs, they infuse the ISPTM programmed cells back into the same patient who can have the therapeutic proteins for a longer time.

“We are excited to enter this collaboration with Takeda, a recognized global leader in rare disease therapies,” said Sean Ainsworth, Chief Executive Officer, Immusoft.

“This advances our leadership position in B cells as biofactories for therapeutic protein delivery, a novel approach that Immusoft has pioneered. This partnership provides Immusoft with significant resources to further develop our Immune System Programming (ISP™) technology platform and therapies in diseases for which patients have limited options.”

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