Rare Daily Staff

Anima Biotech, an Israel-based company focused on the discovery of small molecule drugs that selectively control mRNA translation, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical to discover and develop a new class of medicines for genetically defined neurological diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, Anima will use its Translation Control Therapeutics platform to discover novel mRNA translation modulators against the collaboration targets. The parties will collaborate to advance the molecules to clinical candidates, which Takeda has the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize.

Anima says its platform is a new strategy against undruggable proteins. Its proprietary technology emits light pulses from ribosomes to identify drug candidates that selectively decrease or increase the translation of proteins and elucidate their mechanism of action in a new target space. The company’s pipeline includes programs in fibrosis, oncology, viral translation inhibitors, and repeat associated diseases (translation malfunctions in multiple neurological diseases.

“Anima Biotech’s expertise in understanding the complex regulatory mechanisms of protein expression in the central nervous system makes them an ideal partner to explore this novel area of drug discovery,” said Ceri Davies, head, Neuroscience Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda.

The preclinical research collaboration will initially include Anima’s early Huntington’s disease program against the HTT target, selectively inhibiting the mutated protein with small molecules and two additional targets named by Takeda, related to neurological diseases.

Takeda will pay Anima up to approximately $120 million in upfront and preclinical research milestone payments and up to $1.1 billion in clinical and commercial milestones, assuming success of the three programs. Anima is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on net sales of each product resulting from the collaboration. Takeda has a time limited option to expand the collaboration with up to three additional targets subject to additional payments to Anima of up to $1.2 billion and tiered royalties, assuming success of these programs.

“Partnering is a core strategy of Anima and our model is to build collaborations that maximize the probability of success by combining our discovery platform and expertise in translation control biology with the scientific, clinical and commercial capabilities of our partners,” said Yochi Slonim, Anima’s co-founder and CEO.

Photo: Yochi Slonim, Anima co-founder and CEO

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