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BridGene Biosciences Announces Research Collaboration with Takeda to Discover Small Molecule Drugs for "Undruggable" Targets

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

BridGene Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company using cutting-edge technology to discover and develop small molecules for hard-to-drug therapeutic targets, announced a strategic research collaboration and licensing agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda"). Under the collaboration, the parties will establish up to five drug discovery programs, harnessing BridGene's proprietary IMTAC™ (Isobaric Mass Tagged Affinity Characterization) Chemoproteomics platform to identify targets and small molecule drug candidates for Takeda to develop into therapeutic candidates and pursue into clinical development. BridGene with its chemoproteomics platform can identify small molecule interactions with a wide variety of proteins in living cells.

Under the terms of the partnership, BridGene will receive from Takeda a one-time upfront payment for access to its IMTAC™ technology. For any validated targets selected by Takeda, Takeda will receive an exclusive license to research, develop and commercialize any drug candidates that result from the research programs. BridGene will then be eligible to receive potential preclinical, clinical and commercial milestone payments that could exceed $500 million, as well as royalties from future sales of commercialized drugs resulting from the collaboration.

"This collaboration with Takeda marks an important milestone for BridGene, the first of what we believe could be many such partnerships spanning multiple discovery and development opportunities built around our pioneering work with chemoproteomics technology," stated Ping Cao, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of BridGene Biosciences. "Our approach to drug discovery and development has two primary components, use of covalent small molecules to bind to undruggable targets and chemoproteomics to look at small molecule interactions with the proteins in live cells. These two can be combined to determine the targets that drive characteristics (phenotypes) of disease onset and progression and to identify the targets that a small molecule drug candidate interacts with in live cells. With these tools we can move very quickly from hit to lead in drug discovery."

The collaboration expands on a pilot project that BridGene successfully completed  with Takeda in 2020. This new partnership includes an initial research program focused on identifying targets that contribute to a disease phenotype that is believed to underly neurodegenerative disease and is modifiable by small molecules in a phenotypic screen. Takeda has the right to initiate up to four additional research programs as part of the collaboration.

"Access to BridGene's novel chemoproteomics platform can help us to rapidly identify novel targets and novel drug candidates with the potential to target underlying mechanisms of debilitating neurological disorders," said Ceri Davies, Head, Neuroscience Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. "Partnerships such as this are central to our R&D strategy of pursuing precision medicine approaches to neuroscience disease."

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