Takeda Makes Bet on Viral Cancer-Killers in Deal With Turnstone

武田与Turstone Biologics达成协议,推动和扩大溶瘤病毒免疫疗法渠道

2019-12-20 11:06:00 Bloomberg

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is joining the search for a viral treatment that can hunt down and kill cancer cells, in a deal with closely held startup Turnstone Biologics Inc. The Tokyo-based drugmaker is paying Turnstone $120 million upfront with added potential payments of as much as $900 million for access to Turnstone’s lead drug candidate, Rival-01. The virus-based therapy works by infiltrating tumor cells and eventually stimulating an immune response. The deal comes as large pharmaceutical companies around the globe are pouring money into potential cancer treatments, a market expected to reach $230 billion by 2024. Turnstone isn’t the only company working on the cancer fighters known as oncolytic viruses. Merck & Co. bought Australia’s Viralytics Ltd. for more than $400 million last year. Amgen Inc. brought the first oncolytic treatment to the market, but it has had disappointing sales as the medicine showed little effect on extending survival of patients with the deadly skin-cancer melanoma. But Turnstone’s platform is different. Sammy Farah, the startup’s chief executive, said it can be used to deliver other medicines directly to a tumor as they can be coded into the virus’ genome and be used as a production factory for a therapy. Rival-01 hasn’t yet been tested in humans. As Takeda looks to bolster its cancer-therapy pipeline, the drugmaker has been building new partnerships and moving away from being an “inward facing to a truly outward-facing research team engaged in looking for world-class partners,” said Chris Arendt, head of Takeda’s oncology drug discovery unit. Turnstone’s platform offers an opportunity to harness the power of multiple immuno-oncology agents and send them directly into solid tumors. “When we have a whole portfolio of immune-modulating agents that require the ability to act in a solid tumor and when that environment is incredibly hostile, there’s a chance those agents will work poorly,” Arendt said. “The oncolytic virus is the first piece of that paradigm to unlock the door to a solid tumor.” The virus proliferates inside the tumor and aids in breaking tumor cells apart and at some point awakens immunity. The Japanese drugmaker also has been shedding assets as it seeks to pay down a mountain of debt from its $62 billion acquisition of Shire Plc and to zero in on key focus areas, including oncology and rare diseases. The two companies plan to split costs and profits and seek to develop other new cancer medicines. Takeda will also get a stake of undisclosed size in Turnstone, which has headquarters in New York and Ottawa. The startup, which is valued around $200 million, according to PrivCo data, has also received financial backing from Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, F-Prime Capital Partners. To contact the reporter on this story: Cristin Flanagan in New York at cflanagan1@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net, Mark Schoifet, Timothy Annett For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
武田(Takeda)制药( Takeda Pharmaceutical Co .)正在与控股公司 Turstone Biologics Inc .达成一项协议,参与寻找一种能捕杀癌细胞的病毒疗法。 这家总部位于东京的制药商正向 Turstone 支付1.2亿美元的预付款,同时还可能支付高达9亿美元的潜在款项,以获得 Turstone 的首席候选药物——竞争对手——01。病毒疗法通过渗透肿瘤细胞并最终刺激免疫反应发挥作用。 该交易达成之际,全球大型制药公司正向潜在的癌症治疗领域投入大量资金,预计到2024年这个市场将达到2,300亿美元。 Turnsteint 并不是唯一一家致力于研发溶瘤病毒的公司。默克(Merck)公司去年以4亿多美元收购了澳大利亚 Viralytics Ltd .。安进(Amgen) Inc .将首个溶瘤疗法推向市场,但由于该药对致命性皮肤癌黑色素瘤患者的生存影响不大,销售情况令人失望。 但 Turstone 的平台不同。这家初创公司的首席执行官萨米•法拉( Sammy Farah )表示,它可以用来直接向肿瘤输送其他药物,因为它们可以被编码到病毒的基因组中,并用作治疗的生产工厂。竞争对手01还没有在人类身上进行过测试。 Takeda 肿瘤药物发现部门主管克里斯•阿伦特( Chris Arendt )表示,随着武田(Takeda)寻求加强其癌症治疗渠道,这家制药商一直在建立新的合作伙伴关系,并从“面对一个真正面向外的研究团队,致力于寻找世界级合作伙伴”。 Turstone 的平台提供了利用多种免疫肿瘤药物的力量并将其直接送到实体肿瘤中的机会。 “当我们有一系列需要在实体肿瘤中发挥作用的免疫调节因子时,当环境异常恶劣时,这些因子就有可能工作得很糟糕,”阿伦特说。“溶瘤病毒是打开实体肿瘤大门的第一个范例。” 该病毒在肿瘤内扩散,帮助肿瘤细胞分裂,并在某一点唤醒免疫。 这家日本制药企业还一直在剥离资产,以求偿还其620亿美元收购夏尔(Shire) Plc 的巨额债务,并在肿瘤和罕见疾病等关键重点领域实现零债务。 两家公司计划分摊成本和利润,并寻求开发其他新的癌症药物。武田(Takeda)还将获得总部位于纽约和渥太华的 Turstone 的一部分未披露规模的股份。据 PrivCo 的数据,这家估值约2亿美元的初创公司还获得了来自 Versant Ventures 、 OrbiMed 、 F-Prime Capital Partners 的资金支持。 与记者联系: CristinFlanagan 在纽约 cflanagan1@ bloomberg.net 联系负责这个故事的编辑: Drew Armstrong at darmstrong17@ bloomberg.net , Mark Schooifet , Timothy Annett 更多这样的文章,请访问我们在布隆伯格。com

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