Takeda Pharmaceutical has signed a research, development and commercial collaboration and multi-programme option agreement with Wave Life Sciences to create new antisense oligonucleotides as treatments for genetically defined neurological diseases.

The partnership is intended to support Takeda’s externalisation strategy focused on innovative therapies for diseases that currently lack treatment options.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Neuroscience Therapeutic Area unit head Emiliangelo Ratti said: “Takeda is deeply committed to pursuing innovative approaches in neuroscience research and development.

“Our collaboration with Wave will further enable our focus to accelerate the development of transformational therapies for patients for whom there are currently no treatments available.”

Initially, Wave plans to target Huntington’s disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig’s disease), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3).

“Takeda is deeply committed to pursuing innovative approaches in neuroscience research and development.”

The new oligonucleotide therapeutics are meant for conditions that could not be previously treated using small molecules or biologics.

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They are formulated to decrease the expression of disease-promoting proteins or convert the production of dysfunctional mutant proteins into that of functional proteins having the potential to treat the target disease.

The first phase of the alliance will see the evaluation of WVE-120101 and WVE-120102 that target mutant huntingtin for treating HD, C9ORF72-targeting WVE-3972-01 for ALS and FTD, and a programme that targets ATXN3 to treat SCA3.

Both the firms have an option to co-develop and co-commercialise these potential therapies after establishing clinical proof-of-mechanism.

During the second component of the collaboration, Takeda will have the rights to exclusively licence various preclinical programmes intended for other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Over the total four-year duration, the firms could partner one time on up to six preclinical programmes.