Takeda, Crescendo Biologics enter deal worth up to $790 million to develop cancer therapies

Takeda entered a global collaboration and licence agreement with Crescendo Biologics to develop cancer therapeutics based on the latter's Humabody platform in a deal valued at as much as $790 million, the companies announced Monday. Takeda chief medical and scientific officer Andrew Plump remarked "working together with Crescendo will enable us to leverage its important technology to support Takeda’s goal of developing next generation, highly modular and targeted therapies to treat cancer."

Under the agreement, Takeda will pay Crescendo up to $36 million consisting of an upfront payment, an investment and various milestones, as well as other milestones worth as much as $754 million and sales royalties. Meanwhile, Crescendo will use its transgenic platform and engineering expertise to identify and optimally configure Humabody candidates, consisting of drug conjugates and immuno-oncology modulators, against targets selected by Takeda.

The companies explained that Humabodies comprise a new class of small-protein therapeutics that are based on fully-human VH domain building blocks. The drugmakers added that the properties of Humabodies permit the extremely rapid and efficient assembly and screening of a number of experimental candidates.

Earlier this year, Takeda unveiled plans to overhaul its R&D operations to focus on three key areas, oncology, gastroenterology and CNS, plus vaccines. Later, sources suggested that Takeda had devoted as much as $15 billion to pursuing acquisitions in the US.

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