Takeda and Ovid hook up in rare pediatric epilepsies
- Takeda Pharmaceutical and New York biotech Ovid Therapeutics have inked a deal to collaborate on the Japanese pharma's CH24H inhibitor, TAK-935, in rare childhood epilepsy.
- Takeda will take an equity stake in Ovid, but the companies will split development and commercialization costs equally, with a 50/50 split of profits from commercialization. Takeda will take the lead in Japan, with an option for Asia, while Ovid gains rights in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Israel.
- The two companies have created an interdisciplinary "One Team" to support development. Takeda has completed four Phase 1 studies, and a Phase 1b/2a trial is planned for 2017 in patients with rare epileptic encephalopathies.
Epileptic encephalopathies, such as Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex, are rare but distressing childhood epilepsies, often starting in infancy. The seizures are difficult to treat, and can lead to brain damage and early death.
Ovid Therapeutics is a small company, based in New York, and founded in 2014. Its focus is on rare neurological diseases and so will be able to provide experience and expertise in the field, as well as contacts within the U.S. rare diseases community.
"This alliance advances our strategy to become a leader in the rare neurological disorders field. Building on our work with OV101 in Angelman and Fragile X syndromes, the collaboration in rare epilepsies extends our ability to help patient communities who face neurological conditions with limited to no therapeutic options," Jeremy Levin, chairman and chief executive officer of Ovid Therapeutics.
CNS makes up a significant proportion of Takeda's R&D pipeline, and this deal will strengthen it further in the growing field of rare disease medicine.
"Ovid’s agility, exclusive focus on developing therapies for rare neurological diseases and specialized capabilities in central nervous system drug development are highly differentiated and well suited to this important program," said Emiliangelo Ratti, head of the central nervous system therapeutic area for Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
Even though the field is small with few or no therapeutic options, Takeda and Ovid will still face some competition. GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex (cannabidiol) has been shown to reduce the frequency of seizures in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, and filing is expected during the first half of 2017. The drug is also in development for infantile spasms and tuberous sclerosis complex.
This isn't Takeda's only deal so far this year. Earlier in January, the Japanese company signed a deal with PvP Biologics for an enzyme that breaks up the immune-reactive parts of gluten that set off celiac symptoms.
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