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Takeda Enters Gene Therapy Research Collaboration and License Agreement with Evozyne

April 6, 2022

Japanese biopharmaceutical Takeda increased its arsenal of gene therapy programs with a strategic research collaboration and license agreement with Evozyne, an adaptive biology company pioneering evolution-based design of proteins, to research and develop proteins that could be incorporated into next-generation gene therapies for up to four rare disease targets.

Photo: Rama Ranganathan, Evozyne co-founder and chief scientific officer of Evozyne

In partnership with Takeda, Evozyne will create novel protein sequences for advancement as gene therapies. At the completion and review of certain research deliverables, Takeda has the option to obtain an exclusive license to develop and commercialize the novel protein sequences as part of its gene therapy program.

Under the terms of their agreement, Evozyne will receive double-digit million dollars in upfront and research funding payments. The company is also eligible to receive future developmental, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments of up to $400 million if all milestones are achieved in target indications over the course of the partnership, plus tiered royalties on net sales of any commercial product resulting from the collaboration.

Evozyne’s platform harnesses AI and machine learning technologies with the principles of evolution to uncover nature’s rules. The company integrates its closed-loop learning, high throughput gene synthesis, and automated assays to mimic millions of years of natural evolution in the laboratory. This approach offers a new way to identify novel proteins and improve existing proteins to overcome barriers in disease treatment.

“Producing highly differentiated transgenes is critical to advancing the next generation of gene therapies,” said Madhu Natarajan, head of the Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “By expanding our collaboration with Evozyne, we have the opportunity to leverage their novel protein engineering platform across new disease targets with the hope of one day delivering functional cures to patients living with rare genetic diseases.”

The new agreement builds upon an earlier, separate agreement Evozyne made with Takeda and demonstrates the potential of Evozyne’s protein engineering platform.

“Takeda is helping us make a meaningful difference to the considerable challenges to be solved in rare genetic diseases,” said Rama Ranganathan, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Evozyne. “This collaboration allows the continued development of next-generation gene therapies that have the potential to make a positive impact on patients suffering from serious and life-threatening genetic diseases.”

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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