From its broad
portfolio of novel targets in epigenetics, CellCentric has out-licensed
exclusively the development and commercialisation of an important programme
focused on cancer.
Under the terms of the new agreement, CellCentric will receive from
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited an upfront payment and pre-clinical and
clinical milestones, in addition to royalties. Based on the royalties and
milestones defined, the overall deal could be worth in excess of $200m to
CellCentric over the course of the agreement.
This is a pioneering deal for the emerging area of epigenetics,
demonstrating the commercial interest in novel epigenetic targets beyond
HDACs (histone deacetylases) and DNMTs (DNA methyltransferases ). Therapeutic
research will be initiated by Takeda's Research Group. Development of
molecules stemming from this agreement will be completed by Millennium: The
Takeda Oncology Company, which is responsible for Takeda's global oncology
Many diseases including cancer involve a loss of cell fate control. In
many cases this is associated with aberrant epigenetic changes to chromatin:
dynamic modifications of DNA and its associated proteins, including histones.
These epigenetic alterations are caused by a range of enzymes. Initial
therapeutic interest has been focused on inhibiting HDAC and DNMTs. It has
become increasingly clear that there are many other key epigenetic related
enzymes that can be targeted and which may offer greater specificity of
action. These include histone methyltransferases, demethylases and
CellCentric has an innovation platform built upon relationships with over
30 world leading research labs in epigenetics. The company has identified and
prioritised multiple next generation targets and runs a series of active drug
discovery programmes from its centre in Cambridge, UK. As programmes move
forward, CellCentric is able to gain continued benefit and support from
multiple Principal Investigators within its network.
With an extensive portfolio and rich pipeline, CellCentric's strategy is
to develop some target programmes through licences and collaborations with
Pharmaceutical companies while retaining other programmes for development
Dr Hiroyuki Odaka, General Manager of the Pharmaceutical Research
Division of Takeda said "Epigenetics is an important area for novel oncology
therapeutics. This new agreement demonstrates our commitment to researching
and pioneering the best ways to treat cancer."
Dr Will West, CEO of CellCentric added "This licence is a strong
endorsement of the way we are approaching innovation in epigenetics. This is
an area that is no longer seen as just interesting, but as a necessity for
pharmaceutical companies growing their armoury for tackling intractable
diseases such as cancer".
SOURCE CellCentric Ltd