Takeda to Acquire Maverick Therapeutics to Advance T-Cell Engager Therapies for Solid Tumors and Expand Novel Immuno-Oncology Portfolio
– Acquisition expands Takeda’s immuno-oncology portfolio with two development candidates and Maverick’s conditionally active bispecific T-cell engagers COBRA™ platform, specifically designed to target solid tumors
– Maverick’s lead candidate TAK-186 (formerly MVC-101), a conditionally active T-cell engager, is first in its class to enter the clinic with recent Phase 1/2 study initiation
- Multi-year, “build to buy” collaboration culminates in Takeda’s exercise of its right to acquire Maverick for up to $525 million in upfront and potential milestone payments subject to certain adjustments
OSAKA, Japan & BRISBANE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 9, 2021-- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) (“Takeda”) today announced the exercise of its option to acquire Maverick Therapeutics, Inc. a private biopharmaceutical company pioneering conditionally active bispecific T-cell targeted immunotherapies. Under the agreement, Takeda will obtain Maverick’s T-cell engager COBRA™ platform and a broad development portfolio, including Maverick’s lead development candidate TAK-186 (MVC-101) currently in a Phase 1/2 study for the treatment of EGFR-expressing solid tumors, and TAK-280 (MVC-280), which is anticipated to enter the clinic in the second half of Takeda’s fiscal year 2021 for the treatment of patients with B7H3-expressing solid tumors. After closing of the transaction, Maverick employees, including its team of talented scientists, will join Takeda’s Research & Development organization.
“Collaboration is paramount to our R&D strategy and our pursuit of novel approaches to treat cancer,” said Chris Arendt, Ph.D., head of the Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit of Takeda. “By supporting pioneers like Maverick working in emerging areas of science, we can share expertise, resources and risk to bring transformational new therapies to patients faster. Maverick’s cutting-edge COBRA platform is an exciting addition to our oncology portfolio that provides a novel conditional bioengineering approach to advance redirected immunotherapies against solid tumors.”
Maverick’s COBRA platform is designed to safely target a broad range of solid tumors with highly specific and potent activity while limiting toxicities in normal tissues. Unlike standard T-cell engaging immunotherapies that are systemically active when administered, COBRA-engineered, protein-based therapies are engineered to exploit the tumor microenvironment, triggering T-cell-mediated killing only at the site of the tumor while sparing damage to patients’ healthy tissues. The COBRA platform complements Takeda’s approach to redirecting immune cells to target cancer with the potential to unlock efficacy in solid tumors.
The acquisition follows a multi-year collaboration between Takeda and Maverick signed in 2017 to develop conditionally active T-cell engager therapies, in which Takeda received an equity stake and an exclusive right to purchase Maverick after five years. Based on the success of the lead programs and the promise of the COBRA platform, Takeda exercised its option to acquire Maverick for a pre-negotiated upfront payment as well as potential development and regulatory milestones totaling up to $525 million, subject to certain adjustments, including for Takeda’s current equity stake and Maverick debt. The deal is expected to be finalized in Q1 of Takeda’s fiscal year 2021. 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.
“Takeda’s exercise of their purchase option is a tribute to the Maverick team’s singular focus on improving outcomes for patients with solid tumor cancers,” said James Scibetta, CEO of Maverick Therapeutics. “Through the acquisition, patients will benefit from the expansion of resources and experience Takeda brings to accelerate development of our COBRA-derived therapies. Takeda has been an excellent partner since Maverick’s inception, venerating our independence through a period marked by rapid innovation, providing actionable consultation, and providing direct cell line development and manufacturing support through the COVID-19 pandemic to keep us on our aggressive schedule.”
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About Maverick Therapeutics
Maverick Therapeutics is establishing itself as the leader in the race to apply T cell therapy to solid tumor cancers by focusing deep integrated expertise in drug development to design and deliver a pioneering immunotherapy platform. Maverick’s highly innovative COBRA™ therapeutic platform is the most mature, conditionally active bispecific T cell engaging platform designed to eliminate solid tumors. With COBRA, T cell activation and resulting cell killing only take place where it is needed – in tumors. This unique design delivers the long sought trifecta in cancer care; high specificity, high potency and reduced toxicity. Founded in 2016, Maverick is led by a team of leading experts in protein engineering and T cell therapeutic research and development. Prior to acquisition, Maverick was funded by Takeda, MPM BioVentures 2014 and MPM Capital’s UBS Oncology Impact Fund. For further information, please visit www.mavericktx.com.
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