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F-star Therapeutics strikes Takeda immuno-oncology deal that could be worth more than $40m

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F-star Therapeutics has entered into a licence agreement with Takeda which could earn it more than $40million.

The Babraham Research Campus company has granted Takeda a worldwide, exclusive royalty-bearing licence to research, develop and commercialse a bispecific antibody against an immuno-oncology target using F-star’s proprietary Fcab and mAb2 platforms.

Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star
Eliot Forster, CEO of F-star

F-star will receive $1million upfront, with up to $40m payable over the life of the agreement if all milestones are achieved, plus single-digit royalties on annual net sales.

Dr Neil Brewis, chief scientific officer of F-star, said: “At F-star, we are committed to working towards a cancer-free future and are delighted to partner with Takeda towards a shared goal of developing immunotherapeutics so that more people with cancer can live longer with improved lives.

“We believe there is enormous potential for our mAb2 platform to produce multiple next-generation bispecific antibody therapeutics beyond our current proprietary pipeline and this agreement with Takeda represents F-star’s long-term commitment to realising this potential through partnerships.”

Dr Kathy Seidl, head of oncology drug discovery unit at Takeda, a Japanese multinational pharma company, said: “We have an opportunity at Takeda to lead the discovery and development of novel cancer therapies that leverage the power of the innate immune system.

“We are eager to build on our relationship with F-star and apply their Fcab technology to diversify and accelerate our gamma delta (γδ) T cell engager portfolio in support of our collective pursuit of life-transforming medicines for patients with cancer.”

Last month it was announced that F-star is to be acquired by invoX Pharma, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Sino Biopharm, in a deal that valued the company at approximately $161m. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the invoX and F-star boards and is expected to close in the second half of 2022.

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