Takeda terminates MacroGenics DART deal early
- Takeda and MacroGenics have announced the early termination of their license and option agreement for MacroGenics’ DART molecule, MGD010.
- The deal break-up is reported to be a result of Takeda’s "re-prioritization." The Japanese pharma has been restructuring to focus more closely on oncology, gastroenterology, and CNS.
- MacroGenics regains worldwide rights to the bispecific molecule, which has been developed for autoimmune disorders and targets CD32B and CD79B.
Breaking up is never easy to do, but it’s especially hard when it comes unexpectedly early. In May 2014, a deal between Takeda and MacroGenics granted Takeda an option to gain exclusive worldwide rights to MGD010, a humanized molecule based on MacroGenics’ Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting (DART) technology. The option could be exercised on delivery of a data package, including data from a completed Phase 1 trial.
While early termination can be a sign of things going astray in R&D, Takeda’s termination of the agreement over MGD010 before the end of the option exercise period is blamed on its $725 million restructuring, announced in July 2016, rather than on the recent data from its Phase 1 trial. These results seemed promising enough when they were presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2016, and showed that the drug was well-tolerated and had early signs of efficacy.
MacroGenics’ Scott Koenig, president and CEO, is putting a positive spin on the break-up, and the company’s plans to advance the development of the molecule based on the study results to date. “We view Takeda's early decision to not exercise its option as an opportunity for MacroGenics," he said in a staement. "This enables us to further develop MGD010 on our own or explore future strategic partnering opportunities with this program."
Perhaps it might not be personal. MacroGenics’ DART technology still has some high-powered friends. Takeda’s restructuring is moving the company towards a focus on oncology, gastroenterology, and the central nervous system, and it retains a deal with MacroGenics for four other DART molecules. MacroGenics also has two deals with Janssen, including an agreement to develop and commercialize the DART molecule MGD015 in hematological cancer and solid tumors. Other DART collaborations include Servier and Pfizer.
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