Crescendo Biologics and Takeda in Cancer Drug Pact

12.10.2016 -

The UK’s Crescendo Biologics is collaborating with Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in a deal worth $790 million. The partners have announced a global, strategic, multi-target collaboration and license agreement for the discovery, development and commercialization of Humabody-based therapeutics for cancer indications with a high unmet medical need.

Crescendo’s Humabody products are a novel class of small, robust and potent protein therapeutics based on fully human VH domain building blocks that can rapidly penetrate and accumulate in tumors and be customized to match a relevant treatment regime. The Cambridge-based company will use its proprietary transgenic platform and engineering expertise to discover and configure Humabody candidates against multiple targets selected by Takeda.

In return, Crescendo could receive up to $36 million in a combination of an upfront payment, investment, research funding and preclinical milestones. It is also eligible to receive further milestone payments of up to $754 million as well as royalties on any sales by Takeda. “We see significant potential in Crescendo and its innovative technology to develop unique, small and customizable Humabody-based therapeutics,” said Takeda’s chief medical and scientific officer, Andrew Plump, who added that collaborations are critical in helping achieve its goal of curing cancer.

Peter Pack, CEO of Crescendo, said the agreement is a significant step forward for the company and provides validation of its transgenic platform and capabilities to rapidly assemble and configure small, differentiated Humabody-based therapeutics, opening routes to novel biology. Takeda executed the agreements with Crescendo through its wholly owned subsidiary, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.