Takeda and Evozyne Enter into Gene Therapy Collaboration

January 28, 2021
BioPharm International Editors

Evozyne’s evolution-based protein design technology will be used to research and develop proteins that could be used in the next generation of gene therapies.

Takeda and Evozyne, a US-based molecular engineering technology company, announced on Jan. 25, 2021 that they are entering into a strategic collaboration and license agreement under which Evozyne’s evolution-based protein design technology will be used to research and develop proteins that could be used in the next generation of gene therapies for genetic disorders within the inborn errors of metabolism and lysosomal storage disease areas of research.

Through the agreement, Evozyne will be eligible to receive an undisclosed upfront payment, along with research, development, and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on sales of any commercial products from the collaboration, Evozyne said in a company press release. Evozyne will work to create novel protein sequences for advancement as gene therapies, which Takeda will develop and commercialize as part of its gene therapy program.

“People living with inborn errors of metabolism diseases have profound deficiencies in enzyme levels or lack of enzyme activity that lead to the build-up of toxic materials in the body,” said Rama Ranganathan, MD, PhD, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Evozyne, in the press release. “For years, researchers have been working to convert existing cells to express the missing enzyme. We now have the ability to create new enzymes that could enable more effective gene therapy approaches that may have a greater impact on patients with these disorders.”

“Takeda is expanding on our long-standing expertise in rare genetic diseases and foundation in gene therapy by making focused investments in differentiated, next-generation technologies, including the exciting work Evozyne is doing with protein engineering,” added Madhu Natarajan, Takeda’s Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit head, in the press release. “This partnership supports our focus to identify major treatment challenges across subsets of rare diseases, identify complementary technology approaches, and partner with a network of innovative companies to develop transformative therapies for these patients.”

Source: Evozyne