Takeda Pharmaceutical has entered a collaboration with Noile-Immune Biotech to develop next-generation chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy for solid tumours.
Developed by Yamaguchi University professor Koji Tamada, CAR-T cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy and a gene engineering technology that uses a patient’s own immune system to combat tumour cells.
Noile-Immune has an exclusive licence to the CAR-T technology.
The therapy generates cytokines, chemokines and other molecules, which might influence or change the tumour microenvironment of solid tumour tissues to increase the anti-tumour effect of the therapy.
Under the deal, the two companies plan to use the technology in order to discover and develop new CAR-T cell immunotherapies that will have the potential to treat a wide range of cancers.
Noile-Immune president Dr Hidenobu Ishizaki said: “This technology forms the basis for developing potentially transformational treatments for solid tumours.
“The platform was developed by our founder, director and CSMO, Professor Koji Tamada at the Department of Immunology at Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine.
“We believe our collaboration with Takeda is a significant step towards rapidly delivering therapies that use this technology to cancer patients.”
On pre-agreed terms, Takeda will have exclusive options to acquire licensing rights for the development and commercialisation of Noile-Immune’s pipeline and products.
Takeda oncology drug discovery unit head Chris Arendt said: “We recognise the enormous potential of next-generation CAR-T cell therapy technology to deliver transformative medicines in oncology, one of our core therapeutic areas.”
Arendt further said that the joint research and development of the new cellular immunotherapies will be carried out at Takeda’s Shonan Research Centre in Japan.
Takeda signed the agreement with Noile-Immune through its wholly owned subsidiary, Millennium Pharmaceuticals.
Image: Depiction of three generations of CARs. Photo: courtesy of Monica Casucci and Attilio Bondanza.