Takeda Pharmaceutical and Frazier Healthcare Partners have set up a new biopharmaceutical company to develop new therapeutics in urology and gynaecology.
Known as Outpost Medicine, the new company has secured rights from Takeda to develop and commercialise OP-233 (formerly TAK-233), a clinical-stage product candidate that is being studied for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence occurs when physical movement or activity, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercise, or heavy lifting put physical stress on weakened urethral sphincter or pelvic floor muscles resulting in unintentional loss of urine.
It is different from urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder (OAB), which is caused by involuntary contraction of bladder muscles.
Takeda chief medical and scientific officer Andrew Plump said: “With Takeda strengthening its focus around the core therapeutic areas of oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system diseases, it is important that we seek alternatives to further develop and create value around promising assets that lay outside these areas of focus.
“The formation of Outpost represents an innovative partnership arrangement to further advance one such asset in hopes of bringing a new treatment to patients in need.”
Though more than 18 million adults suffer from stress urinary incontinence in the US alone, there are no pharmacologic agents approved in the US to treat stress urinary incontinence, and drugs for other forms of incontinence like overactive bladder are ineffective for this condition.
Outpost has completed a $41m financing led by Frazier Healthcare Partners including Adams Street Partners, Novo A/S, and Vivo Capital.
Takeda recently formed a strategic alliance with enGene to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapies for speciality gastrointestinal (GI) diseases using enGene’s ‘Gene Pill’ gene delivery platform.
The company will also collaborate with enGene in developing Gene Pill into a platform for oral delivery of antibodies. It has an exclusive option to obtain a right of first negotiation for up to three antibody targets.
Image: Takeda Pharmaceutical’s head office in Osaka, Japan. Photo: courtesy of J o.