Pharma Focus Asia

Takeda and SGC Announce a Collaboration Agreement

Friday, September 29, 2017

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Karolinska Institutet (“KI”) and The Structural Genomics Consortium (“SGC”) today announced a combined pre-competitive and proprietary collaboration to discover and validate new potential intervention points for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The agreement establishes a translational medicine research team of scientists and clinicians from Takeda, Karolinska University Hospital and SGC, which will develop advanced translational disease models from patient-derived tissue samples from a large and well-characterized IBD patient cohort. These industry-standard assays will be used to test high quality chemical probes from the SGC, as well as compounds from Takeda, allowing scientists to interrogate previously unexplored cellular targets and pathways in these diseases of substantial need, including Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD).

"At Takeda, we take a patient centric and ‘human first’ research approach that focuses our thinking on unmet patient needs and prioritizes studies in human tissues to advance our understanding of the biology of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases,” said Gareth Hicks, Ph.D., Head of the GI Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “Our partnership with scientists at The Karolinska Institutet and the SGC is a critical element of our effort toward discovering and assessing new approaches to the treatment of IBD and we are proud to work together in our shared commitment to these patients."

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will provide funding for these research studies over a three-year period. In the pre-competitive arm of the collaboration, KI, SGC and Takeda will make all reagents and knowledge available to the research community without restriction on use (pending quality review) to maximize the impact of the collaboration. In the proprietary arm of the collaboration, study outcomes will be exclusively for Takeda, and may allow the company to link patients to drug candidates, identify new patient subpopulations or assess the underlying biological mechanisms contributing to the initiation and progression of IBD.

“At Karolinska, we have created patient-based assays for systemic autoimmune disease, and the interest this project has captured among patients and industry has encouraged us to expand the program to include IBD,” said Michael Sundström, Chief Scientist for the SGC at KI. “There is a lot of enthusiasm that disease models based on primary human samples will prove superior to commonly used models since they more accurately represent the disease.”

Kristina Broliden, Head of the Department of Medicine Solna, Professor, Unit of Infectious Diseases, KI and Senior Consultant, Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Karolinska University Hospital, highlighted the importance of the unusual collaboration: “The collaboration with Takeda is of high strategic and medical importance to Karolinska Institutet and to the medical community in general. It is a first of its kind for us, and hopefully this combined pre-competitive and proprietary collaborative model can be expanded to additional pharmaceutical partners for additional diseases. The causes of IBD are poorly understood, and with our partnership we will combine our joint resources to tackle this growing medical problem, ultimately paving the way for the development of new, more specific and efficient treatments.”

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