Takeda Deepens Commitment to Develop Innovative Treatments for Neurological Diseases

Takeda Deepens Commitment to Develop Innovative Treatments for Neurological Diseases

February 20, 2018

Collaboration with Wave Life Sciences Ltd. to discover and develop best-in-class antisense oligonucleotides for potential treatment of genetically-defined neurological diseases

Osaka, Japan Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited  (TSE: 4502) today announced that it has entered into a research, development and commercial collaboration and multi-program option agreement with Wave Life Sciences Ltd. (Wave) to develop antisense oligonucleotides for genetically-defined neurological diseases. This partnership supports Takeda’s externalization strategy, which focuses on collaborations that complement its internal pipeline of programs, and represents the next generation of innovative therapies to treat diseases with no current treatment options.

“Takeda is deeply committed to pursuing innovative approaches in neuroscience research and development,” said Emiliangelo Ratti, Head, Neuroscience Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda. “Our collaboration with Wave will further enable our focus to accelerate the development of transformational therapies for patients for whom there are currently no treatments available.”

The first component of the collaboration with Wave will focus on programs targeting Huntington’s disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Wave is developing oligonucleotide therapeutics to target diseases that have been historically difficult to treat with small molecules or biologics. Their molecules are designed to reduce the expression of disease-promoting proteins or to transform the production of dysfunctional mutant proteins into the production of functional proteins, with the potential of treating the targeted disease. The first component of this collaboration will investigate the following potential therapies with the option to co-develop and co-commercialize after demonstration of clinical proof of mechanism: 

  • WVE-120101 and WVE-120102, which selectively target mutant huntingtin and are currently in Phase 1b/2a clinical trials for the treatment of HD
  • WVE-3972-01, which targets C9ORF72and isexpected to be evaluated in clinical studies for the treatment of ALS and FTD beginning in Q4 2018
  • Program targeting ATXN3 for the treatment of SCA3

The second component of the collaboration provides Takeda with the rights to exclusively license multiple preclinical programs targeting other neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. At any one time during a four-year term, the companies may collaborate on up to six preclinical programs. 

“At Takeda, we are focused on partnering with companies that share our research focus and commitment to deliver transformative medicines to patients,” said Daniel Curran, M.D., Head, Center for External Innovation at Takeda. “Wave’s expertise in optimizing oligonucleotidesoffers a complementary approach to programs that Takeda is currently pursuing for neurological disorders, maximizing our potential for success, and their pipeline and focus are closely aligned with our own.”

This collaboration with Wave is part of Takeda’s overall partnership strategy and deepened commitment in neuroscience, which also includes recently signed collaboration agreements with Mindstrong Health to explore the development of digital biomarkers for selected mental health conditions, and Denali Therapeutics, a company with an innovative platform technology for transporting antibodies into the brain, to develop and commercialize therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.


About Takeda Neuroscience

Neuroscience is a core therapeutic area for Takeda. Our aspiration is to provide innovative medicines for targeted patient populations suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders for whom there are no treatments available. We identify targets either genetically linked with specific neuropsychiatric disorders or with high association to the disease pathophysiology, design and operationalize clinical trials in novel ways in an effort to overcome historical challenges, and collaborate with patients, academic institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners, payors, regulators and prescribers to integrate their unique expertise and perspective. Takeda’s current portfolio consists of four approved medicines to treat adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Alzheimer’s-type dementia, insomnia and multiple sclerosis. In addition, there are many novel compounds in clinical development for targeted patient populations.


About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and neuroscience therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. Innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as Takeda’s presence in emerging markets, are currently fueling the growth of Takeda. Approximately 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with Takeda’s partners in health care in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com/newsroom/.


Takeda’s Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements include all statements other than statements of historical fact, including plans, strategies and expectations for the future, statements regarding the expected timing of filings and approvals relating to the transaction, the expected timing of the completion of the transaction, the ability to complete the transaction or to satisfy the various closing conditions, future revenues and profitability from or growth or any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Statements made in the future tense, and words such as “anticipate,” “expect,” “project,” “continue,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “pro forma,” “intend,” “potential,” “target,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “outlook,” “seek,” “assume,” “will,” “may,” “should,” and similar expressions are intended to qualify as forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management that are believed to be reasonable, though they are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. Investors and security holders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.


Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or experience to differ materially from that expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Some of these risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: required regulatory approvals for the transaction may not be obtained in a timely manner, if at all; the conditions to closing of the transaction may not be satisfied; competitive pressures and developments; applicable laws and regulations; the success or failure of product development programs; actions of regulatory authorities and the timing thereof; changes in exchange rates; and claims or concerns regarding the safety or efficacy of marketed products or product candidates in development.


The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release, and neither Wave nor Takeda undertake any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances after the date of the forward-looking statement. If one or more of these statements is updated or corrected, investors and others should not conclude that additional updates or corrections will be made.



Takeda Contact:

Kelly Schlemm, +1-617-551-8865

[email protected]