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Takeda and Arrowhead Pharma join forces in $1m rare liver disease drug development pact

Published on 09/10/20 at 01:24pm

A new partnership has been struck between Takeda and Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, with both companies coming together to co-develop and license the investigational RNAi therapy ARO-AAT as a treatment for alpha-1 antitrypsin-associated liver disease (AATLD).

Under the terms of the partnership, Takeda will make an upfront payment of $300 million to Arrowhead, with a further sum of up to $740 million up for grabs in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.

Should the product secure approval in the US, both companies will equally share all profits generated from sales. In other regions around the world, Takeda will take primary responsibility for commercialisation of the therapy with exclusive licensing rights, while Arrowhead will be eligible to receive 20-25% of net sales in the form of royalty payments.

“AAT-associated liver disease is a devastating condition for which there are no approved therapies. With its RNAi-based mechanism of action, ARO-AAT has the potential to treat the underlying cause of AATLD, thereby helping patients avoid the need for liver transplantation and associated co-morbidities,” commented Dr Asit Parikh, Head of the Gastroenterology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda.

Dr Christopher Anzalone, President and CEO at Arrowhead, added: “This agreement also supports our strategy of using partnering selectively to continue to invest in our Targeted RNAi Molecule (TRiM) platform and the growing pipeline of RNAi therapeutics targeting diverse tissue types, while focusing our commercial organisation on opportunities in two key areas of cardiometabolic and pulmonary.”

AATLD is a rare genetic condition that affects around one in every 3,000 to 5,000 people in the US and around one in every 2,500 people in Europe. ARO-AAT, which is currently at Phase 2 clinical trials, works by reducing the production of mutant alpha-1 antitrypsin protein, the cause of AATLD progression.

Matt Fellows

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