will pay up to $303m to Genevant to develop novel gene therapies. Credit National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.

Genevant Sciences has signed an international partnership and license agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical to develop and market new nonviral gene therapies for the treatment of up to two undisclosed rare liver diseases.

Genevant will be eligible for up to $303m upfront, as well as potential milestone payments, apart from royalties on future sales of the products developed through the alliance.

Takeda will hold exclusive rights to use Genevant’s lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology to develop and market specified nonviral gene therapies for up to two rare liver diseases.

Takeda Pharmaceutical liver disease research head Bernard Allan said: “Building on our existing foundation with Genevant in liver fibrosis, we’re excited to expand our work together to develop life-altering, nonviral gene therapies for specified rare liver diseases.

“Genevant’s expertise in the development of LNPs for clinical applications, coupled with Takeda’s drug development capabilities and history in gastroenterology, gives us a great opportunity to develop new treatment options for patients with liver disorders.”

The latest alliance is the second partnership between the companies.

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In March this year, Genevant and Takeda entered an agreement to develop nucleic acid treatments directed to select targets in hepatic stellate cells for the treatment of liver fibrosis by leveraging the former’s LNP technology.

According to the previous deal, Genevant is eligible to get upfront and milestone payments of up to $600m, as well as sales royalties.

Genevant Sciences president and CEO Pete Lutwyche said: “LNP provides a compelling approach to deliver on the promise of gene therapy, and our leadership position in the LNP space is well established.

“We have enjoyed working with our Takeda colleagues to develop hepatic stellate cell-directed treatments to treat liver fibrosis and are delighted to expand the relationship further with this second collaboration.”

Last month, Takeda partnered with Frazier Healthcare Partners to launch a biopharmaceutical company named HilleVax to develop and market its norovirus vaccine candidate, HIL-214 (previously TAK-214).

Cell & Gene Therapy Coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology supported by Cytiva.

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