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Takeda partners up with Carmine Therapeutics to develop and market rare disease candidates

Published on 01/07/20 at 11:39am

Takeda has linked up with Carmine Therapeutics in a new partnership to discover, develop and bring to market new non-viral gene therapies for two rare disease targets, it has emerged.

Takeda will kickstart the deal with an undisclosed upfront payment, while Carmine will be eligible for up to $900 million in potential milestone payments in addition to tiered royalties, depending on the success of the project.  

The collaboration will leverage Carmine’s REGENT technology, which is based on red blood cell extracellular vesicles, allowing for repeat dosing, enhanced bio-distribution and larger transgene payload capacity compared to adeno-associated virus-based gene therapy. Takeda will also invest $5 million in a convertible loan to further develop the platform as part of the partnership.

"At Takeda, we're expanding our foundation in gene therapy by establishing a network of innovative partners like Carmine Therapeutics who are pursuing non-viral vector approaches that could leapfrog today's technology," explained Takeda Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit Head Madhu Natarajan. "Developing alternative gene therapy delivery vehicles like the REGENT platform that could address the challenges of AAV gene therapy is critical to one day delivering next-generation cures for rare diseases."

Following successful proof-of-concept studies, Takeda will have the option to secure licenses for the developed candidates, at that point assuming responsibility for further clinical development and commercialisation.

XQ Lin, Founding CEO of Carmine Therapeutics and Managing Partner of Esco Ventures, also remarked; "We are pleased to enter this collaboration with Takeda, a recognized global leader in rare disease therapies, slightly more than a year since Carmine was created and incubated by Esco Ventures X. This provides Carmine with significant funding to further develop our REGENT platform, and advance our wholly-owned programmes."

Matt Fellows

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