Pharma Focus Asia

Takeda Acquires Maverick Therapeutics to Advance T-Cell Activator Solid Tumor Treatments and Expand New Cancer Immunotherapy Portfolio

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced the exercise of its option right to acquire Maverick Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company pioneer in targeted and conditionally active bispecific T-cell immunotherapies. Under the agreement, Takeda will obtain the COBRA ™ platform of T-cell activators along with a broad development portfolio, including Maverick's lead development candidate, TAK-186 (MVC-101), currently under study. 1/2 for the treatment of solid tumors that express EGFR, and TAK-280 (MVC-280), which is expected to enter the clinic in the second half of Takeda's fiscal year 2021 for the treatment of patients with solid tumors that express B7H3. After completion of the operation, Maverick employees, including its team of talented scientists,

"Collaboration is central to our research and development strategy, and our pursuit of new approaches to treating cancer," said Chris Arendt, PhD., Unit chief for Takeda's cancer therapy business. “By supporting pioneers, like Maverick, working in emerging areas of science, we can share the experience, resources and risk to more rapidly deliver transformative new treatments to patients. Maverick's state-of-the-art COBRA platform is an exciting addition to our oncology portfolio that provides a novel conditional bioengineering approach to innovate targeted immunotherapies against solid tumors. "

Maverick's COBRA platform is designed to safely target a wide variety of solid tumors with highly specific and strong activity while limiting toxicities to normal tissues. Unlike standard T-cell activating immunotherapies that are activated systemically when administered, protein-based COBRA-engineered treatments are developed to exploit the tumor microenvironment, activating T-cell-mediated killing only in the tumor site without damaging the healthy tissues of patients. The COBRA platform complements Takeda's approach to redirect immune cells to target cancer with the potential to achieve efficacy in solid tumors.

The acquisition continues with a longstanding collaboration between Takeda and Maverick that was signed in develop conditionally active T-cell activator treatments, in which Takeda received an equity stake and an exclusive right to purchase Maverick after five years. Based on the success of the core programs and the promise of the COBRA platform, Takeda exercised its right to purchase Maverick for a pre-negotiated upfront payment, as well as potential development and regulatory milestone payments reaching up to $ 525 million, subject to some adjustments. , which include adjustments for Takeda's equity interest and Maverick's debt. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of Takeda's fiscal 2021 year. The closing of the operation is contingent on completing the review under the antitrust laws,

"Takeda's exercise of the right to purchase is a tribute to the Maverick team's unique focus on improving outcomes for patients with solid cancerous tumors," says James Scibetta, CEO of Maverick Therapeutics. “Due to this purchase, patients will benefit from an expansion of resources and expertise that Takeda provides to accelerate the development of our treatments derived from the COBRA platform. Takeda has been an excellent partner since Maverick's inception, respected our independence through a marked period of rapid innovations, provided actionable consultation, and provided direct assistance for the development and manufacturing of cell lines in the COVID-19 pandemic so that we can stand our ground. with our strong program ”.

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