2021-07-30| Asia-Pacific

Takeda Signs New Deal with PeptiDream Spending Billions to Develop Neuromuscular Disease Drugs

by Kathy Huang
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Neuromuscular diseases affect muscle and nerve functions in varying degrees, and the disease progression is primarily unstoppable. As a result, many drugmakers focusing on neurosciences have evolved in recent years. Takeda is one such company that holds neuromuscular diseases as a key strategic area for its growth.

On July 27th, the Japanese pharma giant announced its collaboration with PeptiDream to develop peptide drugs for neuromuscular diseases. According to the agreement, Peptiment will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and milestone payments from Takeda worth up to $3.5 billion.


Expanding Takeda-PeptiDream Collaboration

The main obstacle in developing neuroscience drugs is to transfer them into patients’ brains or neural systems. Last December, Takeda and PeptiDream initiated a collaboration to advance peptide-drug conjugates (PDCs) targeting central nervous system diseases to overcome the barrier.

PeptiDream’s proprietary TfR1 binding technology is a novel peptide-drug conjugator for neuromuscular diseases. Takeda uses the TfR1 binding peptide ligands to transport its neural disease drugs across the blood-brain barrier. The tech is an improvement of existing transferring techniques, wherein it can reach the neuromuscular junction that lies beyond the protection of the blood-brain barrier. Also, it promotes enhanced tissue distribution of the drugs.


Takeda’s Recent Investments into Neuroscience

Takeda has actively expanded its neuroscience pipelines over the past months. In March, it secured global rights to treatments for rare diseases, Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome from Ovid Therapeutics. The investigational treatment, soticlestat, was originally discovered at Takeda’s research center.

In the same month, Takeda entered a five-program collaboration with BridGene Biosciences to discover small molecule drugs for undruggable neurodegenerative diseases. The deal is potentially worth more than $500 million.

Related article: Takeda to Pursue Hard-to-Drug Neurodegenerative Disease Targets with BridGene Biosciences

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