Takeda to Acquire Adaptate Biotherapeutics to Develop Novel Gamma Delta T Cell Engager Therapies Targeting Solid Tumors
− Acquisition Adds Adaptate’s Novel Antibody-based γδ T-cell Engager Platform to Takeda’s Immuno-oncology Portfolio Built Around the Innate Immune System
− Successful Multi-year R&D Partnership Results in Takeda’s Third Oncology “Build-to-Buy” Acquisition Announced in Less Than a Year
OSAKA, Japan, and LONDON, UK. January 10, 2022 2019 – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) (“Takeda”) today announced the exercise of its option to acquire Adaptate Biotherapeutics (“Adaptate”), a UK company focused on developing antibody-based therapeutics for the modulation of variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma delta (γδ) T cells. Through the acquisition, Takeda will obtain Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T cell engager platform, including pre-clinical candidate and discovery pipeline programs. Adaptate’s γδ T cell engagers are designed to specifically modulate γδ T cell-mediated immune responses at tumor sites while sparing damage to healthy cells.
The planned acquisition of Adaptate follows Takeda’s recently exercised option to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics (“GammaDelta”) and is intended to further accelerate the development of innovative γδ T cell-based therapies. Combining GammaDelta’s cell therapy-based platform and Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T cell engager platform with Takeda’s strong research and development organization positions Takeda to be at the leading edge in deploying the full potential of γδ T cells in the fight against cancer. The planned acquisition complements Takeda’s ongoing efforts to research and develop cell engagers for solid tumor applications, bolstered by the novel T cell engager COBRA platform, which was acquired from Maverick Therapeutics in another successful build-to-buy collaboration.
“Partnering with early-stage innovators to access cutting-edge platforms in the fight against cancer is at the center of our R&D strategy,” said Christopher Arendt, Ph.D., Head of Oncology Cell Therapy and Therapeutic Area Unit of Takeda. “Adaptate’s γδ T cell engager platform and the team’s deep understanding of γδ T cell biology gives us an opportunity to develop a new class of therapeutics that tap into powerful innate immune mechanisms. The planned acquisition will strengthen our immuno-oncology R&D efforts as part of our ongoing pursuit of life-transforming medicines for patients with cancer.”
Adaptate was formed in 2019 as a spin-out company from GammaDelta with investment from Abingworth LLP and Takeda, in which Takeda received an exclusive right to purchase Adaptate for a pre-negotiated upfront payment. The acquisitions of Adaptate and GammaDelta are expected to be finalized in Q1 of Takeda’s fiscal year 2022, pending completion of review under applicable antitrust laws, including the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the U.S.
“Our acquisition by Takeda recognizes the tremendous work put in over the last two years by Adaptate’s incredibly talented team,” said Dr. Natalie Mount, CEO of Adaptate. “We have rapidly demonstrated, in preclinical models, the therapeutic potential of our novel Vδ1-targeting antibodies, and this move brings us an exciting step closer to realizing the full potential for Vδ1 T cell targeted therapies to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients.”
In addition, Tim Haines, Chair & Managing Partner at Abingworth noted, “Having played an instrumental role in creating Adaptate, we are delighted to see the impressive developments of its γδ T cell therapeutic antibody portfolio to date, under the leadership of Natalie Mount. We look forward to seeing Takeda progress Adaptate’s very promising therapeutic antibodies into the clinic.”
Takeda’s oncology pipeline focuses on novel strategies that leverage the power of the immune system, with a focus on innate immunity. Innate immune responses serve as the body’s first defense mechanism against disease and involve the orchestration of a broad arsenal of mechanisms and cell types, including γδ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, that may help to overcome cancer’s ability to evade immune recognition. Adaptate has discovered a unique set of antibodies that selectively modulate γδ T cell activity in the tumor microenvironment. The antibodies provide a precisely targeted signal to the immune system, thereby offering the opportunity for superior efficacy and safety compared to conventional immuno-oncology approaches in solid tumors.