CAR T cell therapies for cancer still pose challenges in manufacturing, safety, and the ability to address solid tumors. A panel at the World Medical Innovation Forum discussed efforts to improve CAR T as well as new approaches for the next generation of cell therapies.
Takeda Pharmaceutical spinout HilleVax broke the biotech IPO drought with a $200 million stock market debut for clinical development of a norovirus vaccine. Two eye health companies marked the other IPO activity: Belite Bio went public while Bausch + Lomb set financial terms for what could become one of the biggest IPOs of the year.
Evozyne uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to design novel proteins that can be used in gene therapies. The new agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical covers the development of proteins that can be used in gene therapies for rare diseases.
Takeda Pharmaceutical won FDA approval for Livtencity, an antiviral developed to treat cytomegalovirus infection in transplant patients. The agency also approved an Aadi Biosciences drug, making it the first therapy authorized for treating a rare type of soft-tissue cancer.
In less than two years, Egle Therapeutics launched, partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical, and found its first cancer targets. Now the startup has €40M in Series A financing to further develop its new approach to modulating regulatory T cells as a way of treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Takeda Pharmaceutical is partnering with startup Immusoft in a research alliance aiming to develop B cell therapies that cross the blood-brain barrier to treat rare neurometabolic disorders. Depending on the progress of the research, Takeda could pay its new partner more than $900 million.
The progress of gene therapies continues to be stymied by safety risks associated with the viruses used to deliver them. Takeda Pharmaceutical is partnering with Poseida Therapeutics in a bet that the biotech’s non-viral technologies could offer a safer alternative.
Takeda Pharmaceutical drug mobocertinib was approved by the FDA to treat non-small cell lung cancer in patients whose tumors carry a rare genetic signature. With the approval, Takeda can offer an oral alternative to a recently approved Johnson & Johnson drug that targets the same mutation but is given as an infusion.
A Novartis drug intended to prevent organ rejection has failed to beat out the standard of care therapy in a Phase 2 study in kidney transplant patients. Other clinical trial failures announced ahead of the Labor Day weekend include a Forte Biosciences atopic dermatitis drug, as well a cancer therapy from Takeda Pharmaceutical.
Takeda Pharmaceutical and Maverick Therapeutics have been R&D partners since 2017. In buying out its partner, Takeda acquires technology and drug candidates that could offer advantages compared to CAR-T therapies, including the potential to treat solid tumors.
Takeda Pharmaceutical gains full rights to a small molecule that has shown promise treating seizures in several rare forms of epilepsy. Meanwhile, Ovid Therapeutics gains cash to support its pipeline of neurological disease drug candidates.