Takeda partners with Poseida on non-viral gene therapies

Takeda entered into an agreement potentially worth up to $3.6 billion to utilise Poseida Therapeutics' technology platforms to develop up to eight gene therapies, the companies said Tuesday. The collaboration will initially focus on developing non-viral in vivo gene therapies in liver- and haematopoietic stem cell-directed indications, including Poseida's haemophilia A programme.

The collaboration will use Poseida's non-viral piggyBac DNA modification system, Cas-CLOVER site-specific gene editing system, biodegradable DNA and RNA nanoparticle delivery technology and other genetic engineering platforms. "Poseida's differentiated platform technologies show great promise in developing non-viral in vivo gene therapies using their novel genetic engineering and delivery technologies that complement our existing collaborations," remarked Madhu Natarajan, head of Takeda's rare diseases drug discovery unit.

Under the agreed terms, the companies will collaborate to initially develop up to six gene therapy programmes, with Takeda also having an option to add two more. The Japanese drugmaker will fund all R&D costs. Meanwhile, Poseida will lead research activities up to candidate selection, after which Takeda will assume responsibility for further development and commercialisation.

As part of the deal, Takeda will make an upfront payment of $45 million to Poseida, which is also eligible to receive more than $125 million in preclinical milestones linked to the initial six programmes. Poseida also stands to collect future milestones of up to $2.7 billion if all six programmes are successful, a figure that could reach $3.6 billion if milestones for the two optional programmes are achieved, plus tiered sales royalties into the double digits.

Earlier this month, Takeda entered into an agreement potentially worth up to $1.1 billion for access to Selecta Biosciences' technology to produce targeted, next-generation gene therapies for lysosomal storage disorders. For more, see ViewPoints: Big Pharma, investors continue gene therapy bets despite safety setbacks.

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