Maverick Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan's top drugmaker, have entered into a five-year venture to advance Maverick's T-cell engagement platform for treating cancer, the companies said Wednesday.
In return for its $125 million investment in Maverick, Takeda gains the exclusive right to takeover Maverick after the five-year period for an undisclosed sum.
Under the long-term collaboration, Takeda will place a director on Maverick's board.
Takeda is off to a busy start in 2017: striving to establish a strong oncology pipeline while boosting its presence in the U.S. In fact, the Japan-based biotech has designated at least $15 billion for pharmaceutical acquisitions in the U.S., the Financial Times said in September 2016.
Just two days prior to its most recent deal, Takeda said it has dropped $5.2 billion to acquire Cambridge, MA-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals, which is among the laundry list of drugmakers caught in a whirlwind of pricing controversies.
Critically, that deal gave Takeda access to a Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for two leukemias, Iclusig (ponatinib).
With respect to its collaboration with Maverick, Takeda sees “significant potential in Maverick to develop unique, small and customizable T-cell engagement therapeutics,” Phil Rowlands, interim head of Takeda's oncology business, said in a Jan. 11 statement.
Rowlands added the joint effort will help "leverage a potentially groundbreaking biologics platform to support Takeda's aim of developing innovative, targeted cancer therapies to treat people with cancer."
Jeanmarie Guenot, Maverick co-founder, said joining forces with Takeda “should allow us to move rapidly to the clinic and address unmet needs in cancer immunotherapy.”