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The partnership will focus on the development of up to five novel protein replacement and mRNA therapies.
Takeda and Evox Therapeutics, a United Kingdom-based exosome therapeutics company, announced on March 26, 2020 that they are entering into a rare disease-focused partnership for up to $882 million.
Through the agreement, Evox will receive $44 million in near-term milestone payments and research funding and is eligible to receive $882 million in upfront, development, and commercial milestone payments from Takeda, an Evox press release said. Additionally, Evox will handle R&D activities for each program until investigational new drug-enabling studies as well as manufacturing up to and including Phase-I clinical trials. Takeda will reimburse Evox for manufacturing costs, according to the agreement.
The partnership will focus on the development of up to five novel protein replacement and messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNA) therapies, including Evox’s preclinical program for Niemann-Pick disease type C, a genetic disorder that inhibits the body from transporting lipids into cells, the press release said. Takeda will also have the option to select three separate rare disease targets.
“Evox Therapeutics has developed a novel approach toward treating devastating diseases, such as Niemann-Pick Type C. The targeted and non-targeted exosomes offer a highly differentiated platform with the potential to enhance tissue delivery for a variety of payloads like mRNA and proteins,” said Madhu Natarajan, head of the Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda, in the press release. “Collaborating on the Evox exosome platform also complements our expanding capabilities in cell and gene therapies, particularly with the potential to develop new delivery approaches in addition to our cutting-edge adeno associated virus platform, to provide transformative therapies or functional cures for people living with rare diseases.”
“We are delighted to have entered into this strategically important, multi-target partnership with Takeda, a recognized leader in the development of treatments for rare diseases,” added
Dr. Antonin de Fougerolles, CEO of Evox, in the press release. “We look forward to working with Takeda to advance these exosome drugs towards the clinic. Additionally, the deal significantly extends our cash runway into late 2022 and allows us to aggressively expand our own proprietary pipeline of rare disease drugs, including a urea cycle disorder program we expect to enter the clinic in 2021.”