Takeda, Gencia Form Small-Molecule Drug Pact
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Gencia LLC, a company specializing in mitochondrial-targeting technology have formed a partnership to develop a new class of small molecule drugs as potential treatments for hematological and inflammatory diseases. Called miitochondrial agonists of the glucocorticoid receptor (MAGR), such compounds may offer the therapeutic potential of conventional glucocorticoid drugs (steroids). However, MAGR are chemically distinct and may function differently than steroids, according to Takeda.
The initial aim of the collaboration will be joint research and development leading to two preclinical drug candidates, one each in the areas of inflammation and oncology. Takeda will explore opportunities to conduct clinical trials for drug candidates identified by the partnership. Under the agreement, Gencia will receive upfront payments and preclinical milestones for the two compounds and aggregate clinical, commercialization and sales milestones with the potential for approximately $500 million in payments by Takeda. Gencia also will receive royalties on sales of any successfully commercialized products arising from the partnership. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Glucocorticoid drugs are used in front-line, combination, maintenance, and relapse therapy in the treatment of many hematological and inflammatory diseases. However, side-effects, lack of response or induced resistance frequently limit glucocorticoid use. Gencia's MAGR agonists have shown activity in numerous steroid-sensitive and steroid-resistant pharmacology models. Gencia and Takeda will explore potential therapeutic uses of MAGRs and the possibilities for their safe and effective chronic use.