Takeda gains access to ImmunoGen's ADC technology with license agreement

Takeda will use the ADC technology to develop and commercialize anticancer therapeutics against two undisclosed targets, and will make an upfront payment to ImmunoGen of $20 million

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CAMBRIDGE & WALTHAM, Mass.—Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and ImmunoGen Inc. have announced the establishment of a license agreement. Under this agreement, Takeda has licensed exclusive rights to use ImmunoGen's antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology, including ImmunoGen's DNA-acting IGN payload agents, for the development and commercialization of targeted anticancer therapeutics against up to two undisclosed targets. Takeda also has the option of taking a licensing for a third target for an additional upfront fee.
"Takeda shares our commitment to developing novel anticancer therapies that meaningfully improve the lives of patients, and we look forward to collaborating with them to create important new ADC product candidates," Daniel Junius, president and CEO of ImmunoGen, commented in a statement.
The agreement stipulates that Takeda will pay ImmunoGen $20 million up front, with the potential for up to $210 million in milestone payments for each target. ImmunoGen is also eligible to receive royalties on the commercial net sales of any resulting ADC products. Takeda will assume responsibility for the development, manufacturing and marketing of any ADC products that result from this deal. Takeda signed the agreement through Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary.
"ADC technology is a critically important tool in addressing unmet needs in oncology," Dr. Christopher Claiborne, head of the Oncology Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda, noted in a press release. "By partnering with ImmunoGen, we are able to leverage this important technology in Takeda's R&D program and bring novel agents through the clinic."
ImmunoGen's ADC portfolio includes a variety of potent payload agents and engineered linkers. Among those proprietary payload agents are ImmunoGen's tubulin-acting maytansinoids, which are currently used in more than 10 ADCs in the clinic, as well as Kadcyla, which is marketed by Genentech, a member of the Roche group, for the treatment of HER2-positive, late-stage metastatic breast cancer. The company's DNA-acting IGN family of payload agents expands the types of cancers that could be treated with ADC therapies, such as those that lack sensitivity to tubulin-acting agents or those with less-robust target expression.
In other recent licensing news, Takeda announced on March 10 that it had transferred its license agreement with the Japan Health Sciences Foundation for worldwide patent rights for a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to the Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute (Kaketsuken). Takeda began an agreement with the Japan Health Sciences Foundation to develop an HPV vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer in October 2010, and the company has conducted preclinical development of the vaccine candidate. Once the license agreement transfers, Kaketsuken will take over research efforts to support future commercialization of the vaccine candidate.

“Takeda welcomes Kaketsuken’s interest in the development of this vaccine candidate as a potential new option to fight HPV,” commented Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, president of the Takeda Vaccine Business Unit. “Through these agreements and our ongoing work on other vaccine programs to address unmet medical needs, Takeda continues to contribute to public health in Japan and around the world.”

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