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Takeda signs multiple cell therapy collaborations to advance immuno-oncology portfolio

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited has announced new research collaborations in immuno-oncology (I-O), an area of key strategic focus for the company. Through these collaborations, Takeda seeks to accelerate the discovery of next-generation cancer immunotherapies, including novel cell therapy approaches that may provide important opportunities for addressing the needs of patients with hard-to-treat cancers.

Takeda will collaborate with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to discover and develop novel chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) products for the treatment of multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia and additional solid tumor indications. The broad, multi-faceted collaboration will be co-led by CAR-T therapy pioneer Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Cell Engineering at MSK and scientific founder of Juno Therapeutics.

Takeda exercised an option under its existingresearch collaborationwith Noile-Immune Biotech Inc. (Noile), which originated in September 2017. Due to the success of the collaboration, Takeda exclusively licensed NIB-102 and NIB-103 for the treatment of various solid tumor indications, and will co-develop these CAR-T cell therapies with Noile utilizing the company’s proprietary “Prime” (proliferation inducing and migration enhancing) CAR-T platform. The company plans to gain regulatory approval for human testing of NIB-102 by the end of this year.

Takeda’sexercised optionfor an exclusive oncology-targeted Humabodylicense from Crescendo Biologics will allow Takeda to additionally evaluate these HumabodyVHs for the development of novel CAR-T therapeutics. The development will leverage the unique properties of single-domain tumor-targeted binders as an alternative to conventional single-chain variable fragment (scFv)-based approaches.

Takeda’s diversification into next-generation cell therapy builds directly on its three strategic pillars in oncology: hematologic malignancies, lung cancer and immuno-oncology. Through collaboration with external partners and its newly established translational cell therapy engine, Takeda plans to deliver a rich pipeline of early-stage assets in the coming years.

Takeda has established a new internal translational cell therapy engine with bioengineering, chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC), clinical and translational expertise. The group aims to rapidly translate innovative and differentiated cell therapy concepts in to the clinic under the leadership of Stefan Wildt, Ph.D., Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Translational Engine, Cell Therapies.

The new collaborations expand Takeda’s commitment to pursue the discovery of novel cell therapy approaches to treat blood cancers and solid tumors.

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