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2021-08-24| Asia-Pacific

Takeda To Develop Rare Liver Disease Treatments with Genevant in $303M Pact

by Tyler Chen
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On August 23rd, Takeda made its second collaboration announcement with US-based Genevant Sciences this year. The Japanese pharma giant said it will use Genevant’s lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology to develop non-viral gene therapies for two undisclosed rare liver diseases. The pact is worth around $303 million.

 

The Uprising of LNP Technology

LNP technology, an innovative liquid-based drug delivery system, has become one of the most effective solutions to deliver nucleic acids such as mRNA, siRNA, and gene-editing tools. The technology is able to send nucleic acids to a specific part of the human body and help them enter cells without degradation or harm, maintaining the stability and efficacy of the therapeutics.

Defining examples are the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, which use LNP technology to deliver their payloads.

“Genevant’s expertise in the development of LNPs for clinical applications, coupled with Takeda’s drug development capabilities and history in gastroenterology, gives us a great opportunity to develop new treatment options for patients with liver disorders,” said Bernard Allan, head of liver disease research at Takeda.

 

Targeting Liver Fibrosis with a $600M Deal

This is not the first time the pair has worked together. In March, Takeda teamed up with Genevant to develop a liver fibrosis treatment targeting historically inaccessible hepatic stellate cells. The $600 million deal also gave Takeda the right to access Genevant’s LNP technology in the R&D and commercialization process.

“LNP provides a compelling approach to deliver on the promise of gene therapy, and our leadership position in the LNP space is well established. We have enjoyed working with our Takeda colleagues to develop hepatic stellate cell-directed treatments to treat liver fibrosis and are delighted to expand the relationship further with this second collaboration,” said Pete Lutwyche, Ph.D., president, and CEO, Genevant Sciences Corporation.

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