Genevant, Takeda Enter Collab to Find a Cure for Rare Liver Diseases
International biopharmaceutical firm Genevant Sciences has announced a global collaboration and licensing deal with Takeda Pharmaceutical to create and commercialize new therapies that would hopefully treat two undisclosed types of rare liver diseases.
This is the second partnership that the two companies have entered, with the first one happening in early 2021 to develop nucleic acid drugs that target specific hepatic stellate cells with the goal to treat liver fibrosis.
The latest agreement will once again take advantage of Genevant Science’s lipid nanoparticle (LNP) platform, which is the delivery technology behind the first and only approved RNAi-LNP (patisiran). LNP enables a wide range of RNA-based applications, including vaccines, gene editing, and therapeutic protein production. With that agreement, Genevant was initially eligible to receive up to $600 million in upfront and milestone payments, plus any royalties from sales.
In a statement, Genevant Sciences president and chief executive officer Pete Lutwyche, Ph.D., expressed pride over their leadership position in the LNP space, enabling it to conduct compelling research. He added that the firm looks forward to exploring potential treatments for liver diseases with its second collaboration with Takeda.
“Building on our existing foundation with Genevant in liver fibrosis, we’re excited to expand our work together to develop life-altering, nonviral gene therapies for specified rare liver diseases. Genevant’s expertise in the development of LNPs for clinical applications, coupled with Takeda’s drug development capabilities and history in gastroenterology, gives us a great opportunity to develop new treatment options for patients with liver disorders,” commented Takeda head of liver disease research Bernard Allan, in the same press release.
In their first agreement, Allan had expressed optimism over their partnership with Genevant, especially as late-stage liver disease is an area where treatment options are desperately needed. This latest deal strengthens their goal to pursue therapies that would reduce or end the illness once and for all.
Under the terms of the deal, Genevant will receive as much as $303 million in upfront and possible milestone payments, plus royalties on future sales. Takeda will have exclusive access to the former’s LNP technology in all phases of development and distribution. Neither of the companies revealed the two types of liver diseases they are targeting with this project.