Takeda Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TAK) announced that it is acquiring Maverick Therapeutics in a deal worth up to $525 million.
Osaka, Japan-based Takeda exercised its option to acquire Maverick and in doing so will obtain its T-cell engager Cobra platform and development portfolio, including multiple solid tumor treatments in various clinical stages.
Following the closing of the deal, Maverick employees will join Takeda’s research & development team, according to a news release.
Brisbane, Calif.-based Maverick’s Cobra platform is designed to target a broad range of solid tumors with highly specific and potent activity while limiting toxicities in normal tissues. The protein-based therapies are engineered to exploit the tumor microenvironment, killing only at the site of the tumor and sparing damage to patients’ healthy tissues.
The deal follows a multi-year collaboration between Takeda and Maverick to develop conditionally active T-cell engager therapies. The collaboration included an equity stake in Maverick for Takeda, as well as an exclusive right to pruchase the company after five years.
Takeda exercised the option to buy Maverick for a pre-negotiated, upfront payment, as well as potential development and regulatory milestones, that altogether totals $525 million, subject to certain adjustments, including for Takeda’s equity stake and Maverick’s debt. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of Takeda’s fiscal 2021.
“Collaboration is paramount to our R&D strategy and our pursuit of novel approaches to treat cancer,” Takeda oncology therapeutic area unit head Chris Arendt said in the release. “By supporting pioneers like Maverick working in emerging areas of science, we can share expertise, resources and risk to bring transformational new therapies to patients faster. Maverick’s cutting-edge Cobra platform is an exciting addition to our oncology portfolio that provides a novel conditional bioengineering approach to advance redirected immunotherapies against solid tumors.”
Maverick Therapeutics CEO James Scibetta added that patients will benefit from the added resources and experience Takeda will bring to the development of Cobra-derived therapies.
“Takeda has been an excellent partner since Maverick’s inception, venerating our independence through a period marked by rapid innovation, providing actionable consultation, and providing direct cell line development and manufacturing support through the COVID-19 pandemic to keep us on our aggressive schedule,” Scibetta said.