Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has entered a strategic collaboration with Abingworth portfolio company GammaDelta Therapeutics to develop a T-cell platform based on distinct properties of gamma delta (γδ) T-cells derived from human tissues.

The collaboration intends to leverage the novel platform to discover and develop new immunotherapies to treat multiple cancer diseases, including solid tumours and autoinflammatory diseases.

GammaDelta Therapeutics MD and CEO Dr Paolo Paolettisaid: “The pioneering research developed by Professor Adrian Hayday and Dr Oliver Nussbaumer at King's College London and the Francis Crick Institute, the scientific founders of our company, forms the basis for the development of potentially transformational treatments for cancer and autoinflammatory diseases.

“We believe the collaboration with Takeda validates our novel approach and should allow us to move rapidly to the clinic.”

As part of the deal, the two firms will jointly commit up to $100m to facilitate the GammaDelta Therapeutics led research and development.

The funding comprises an equity investment, an option fee and funding in research and development.

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"We believe the collaboration with Takeda validates our novel approach and should allow us to move rapidly to the clinic."

It also provides Takeda with the exclusive right to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics.

Takeda will additionally appoint a director to GammaDelta Therapeutics' board.

TakedaCenter for external innovation head Daniel Curran said: “At Takeda, we recognise the enormous potential of tissue resident γδ T-cells to deliver transformative medicines in our core therapeutic areas of oncology and gastroenterology.

“This collaboration is another example of our strategy to invest in highly innovative areas of science and we're pleased to collaborate with the experienced team at GammaDelta Therapeutics as they aim to take a leadership position in this rapidly emerging field.”

Takeda has signed certain agreements with GammaDelta Therapeutics through its fully owned subsidiary, Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

GammaDelta Therapeutics was formed last year by Abingworth with the support of Cancer Research Technology.

It focuses on exploiting the unique properties of tissue resident gamma delta (γδ) T-cells, a unique and conserved population of lymphocytes, which reportedly contribute to multiple forms of immune responses and immunopathology.