Pharma Focus Asia

Egle Therapeutics Enters Into a Corporate Strategic Research Alliance with Takeda

Friday, June 12, 2020

Egle Therapeutics SAS, an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing first-in-class immunotherapies targeting immune suppressor regulatory T-cells for oncology and autoimmune diseases, announced today a corporate strategic research alliance with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) with the goal of validating novel tumor-infiltrating regulatory T-cell (Treg) targets against which Takeda will develop potential therapies.

As a newly established bioscience company spun out of Institut Curie in the field of Treg immune modulation, Egle Therapeutics has assembled a proprietary translational based target discovery engine leveraging patient samples to map out - at the single cell level - unique transcriptomic signatures and targets specific for tumor-infiltrating Treg sub-populations. Capitalizing on these newly identified tumor-infiltrating Treg targets, the company is building a proprietary Treg modulating drug pipeline which also includes computationally designed resurfaced IL-2 proprietary variants, featuring unique mechanism of action to engage or dis-engage Tregs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Egle Therapeutics will lead target validation efforts on a subset targets Egle has identified and Takeda will be responsible for the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of resulting therapies. Egle Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment and research funding, and will be eligible to receive additional development and sales milestone payments based on the exclusivity of targets selected by Takeda.

Luc Boblet, co-founder and CEO of Egle Tx, commented “We are thrilled to engage with Takeda to fully exploit the great therapeutic potential of inhibiting the most immunosuppressive arm of immunity to restore antitumor immune response. We believe that joining forces would be the most efficient path to successfully develop novel generation of anti-Treg immunotherapies for the benefit of patients.”

“Working with Egle to leverage the unique translational derived patient data bringing tumor-specific Treg targets is an exciting prospect to further advance our immuno-oncology drug discovery efforts,” said Loïc Vincent, Head, Oncology Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “Targeting tumor-infiltrating regulatory T-cells to overcome the immune suppression in tumor microenvironments will complement our current immuno-oncology approaches and help advance an exciting portfolio.”

In addition to the funding of the multi-target research collaboration, Takeda will invest €4.6 million in convertible debt through its venture arm, Takeda Ventures, Inc. (“TVI”), to support Egle’s corporate growth and internal programs on IL-2-based Treg modulation. Egle’s flagship program pioneers the dis-engagement of tumor-infiltrating Treg through unique proprietary series of IL-2 variants that act as IL-2 antagonists.

“While the whole competition converges solely on a similar approach to enhance effector T cells by disrupting binding of IL-2 to Tregs, our IL-2 variants conserve intact IL-2 binding to CD25, conferring a unique mechanism of action for starving Treg from endogenous IL-2, while leaving active the CD8+ effector T cell arm of the immune response,” Luc Boblet added. “Takeda’s equity commitment will help Egle’s launch strikingly hit the road building on our excellent scientific foundation.”

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