Enable Accessibility Enable Accessibility

Takeda’s partnership strategy is advancing the fight against cancer

Gamma Delta article_Chris Arendt_16 9.jpg

Interview with Christopher Arendt, Head of Oncology Cell Therapy and Therapeutic Area Unit, on the Potential of Cell Therapy to Positively Impact the Lives of Cancer Patients

 

The recently exercised option to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics (GammaDelta) is another example of Takeda’s R&D partnership strategy in action, following on the heels of our recent successful acquisition of Maverick Therapeutics. It is also an important step in expanding our immuno-oncology pipeline, allowing us to seamlessly integrate GammaDelta’s platforms into our cell therapy portfolio, which includes our natural killer (NK) and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) cell therapy platforms.

We sat down with Christopher Arendt, Head of Oncology Cell Therapy and Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda, to learn more.

 

Q: Takeda’s partnership with GammaDelta has focused on focused on harnessing gamma-delta T cells for immunotherapy. In simple terms, what are these cells and why are they so important in fighting cancer?

CA: Gamma-delta T cells are particularly interesting because of their connection to ‘innate immunity’, which gives these cells the power to orchestrate potent immune responses against threats, including cancers.  When engineered with genes that potentiate their anti-tumor recognition capacity, these cells have the potential to overcome cancer’s ability to evade immune recognition. The cell therapy platforms developed over the course of our partnership with GammaDelta Therapeutics include technologies designed to generate allogeneic immunotherapies based on these cells. These allogeneic, or ‘off-the-shelf’, therapies use a single source of cells in a manufacturing process that can be scaled for large segments of patients.  Gamma delta T cells have potential to address not just hematological cancers, but also have unique properties that make them attractive for solid tumors —an area where other cell therapy platforms have fallen short.

 

Q: What does this planned acquisition mean for Takeda?

CA: Our collaborations with innovators that have unique technology platforms and deep domain expertise, such as GammaDelta Therapeutics and Maverick Therapeutics, enable us to continue to revolutionize our R&D efforts and better identify and accelerate promising solutions for cancer patients.

We continue to make progress in cell therapy and, more broadly, in our immuno-oncology portfolio focused on leveraging the innate immune system. This includes novel programs like subasumstat (TAK-981), our first-in-class SUMOylation inhibitor that recently demonstrated early positive proof of concept (POC), and modakafusp alfa (TAK-573), a first-in-class targeted immunotherapy that recently achieved POC, among others.

 

The acquisition of GammaDelta Therapeutics is expected to be finalized in Q1 of Takeda’s fiscal year 2022. Closing of the transaction is contingent on completion of review under antitrust laws, including the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the U.S.

 

Go deeper into Takeda’s partnership strategy.

Go deeper into our Oncology business and scientific platforms.

Go deeper into our pipeline.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

This article and any materials distributed in connection with this article may contain forward-looking statements, beliefs or opinions regarding Takeda’s future business, future position and results of operations, including estimates, forecasts, targets and plans for Takeda. Without limitation, forward-looking statements often include words such as “targets”, “plans”, “believes”, “hopes”, “continues”, “expects”, “aims”, “intends”, “ensures”, “will”, “may”, “should”, “would”, “could” “anticipates”, “estimates”, “projects” or similar expressions or the negative thereof. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including the following, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements: the economic circumstances surrounding Takeda’s global business, including general economic conditions in Japan and the United States; competitive pressures and developments; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; challenges inherent in new product development, including uncertainty of clinical success and decisions of regulatory authorities and the timing thereof; uncertainty of commercial success for new and existing products; manufacturing difficulties or delays; fluctuations in interest and currency exchange rates; claims or concerns regarding the safety or efficacy of marketed products or product candidates; the impact of health crises, like the novel coronavirus pandemic, on Takeda and its customers and suppliers, including foreign governments in countries in which Takeda operates, or on other facets of its business; the timing and impact of post-merger integration efforts with acquired companies; the ability to divest assets that are not core to Takeda’s operations and the timing of any such divestment(s); and other factors identified in Takeda’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and Takeda’s other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, available on Takeda’s website or at www.sec.gov. Takeda does not undertake to update any of the forward-looking statements contained in this article or any other forward-looking statements it may make, except as required by law or stock exchange rule. Past performance is not an indicator of future results and the results or statements of Takeda in this article may not be indicative of, and are not an estimate, forecast, guarantee or projection of Takeda’s future results.