Charles River secures milestone deals with Takeda and HemaCare

By Murielle Gonzalez | Published: 16-Jan-2020

The laboratory giant inks deal with global Japanese drugmaker and completes acquisition of the cell and gene products manufacturer

Charles River has secured a multi-year drug discovery collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical. The ultimate goal of the deal with Takeda is delivering preclinical candidates that the drugmaker can then advance into clinical development.

The agreement focuses on Takeda’s four core therapeutic areas: oncology, gastroenterology, neuroscience, and rare disease.

“We expect the expertise of Charles River and Takeda will prove to be a powerful combination in delivering novel drug candidates," said James C. Foster, Chairman, President and CEO at Charles River.

End-to-end drug discovery

Charles River will leverage its end-to-end drug discovery and safety assessment platform to explore potential therapeutic approaches and progress these programmes towards candidate status. Takeda will then have the option to advance the preclinical candidates through their clinical development pipeline.

“By utilising an integrated drug discovery and development approach, our goal is to deliver quality preclinical candidates to Takeda, helping to drive forward their innovative work in key therapeutic areas," commented Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President, Discovery Safety Assessment, Biologics Testing Solutions, and Avian Vaccine Services at Charles River.

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will pay Charles River a one-time, upfront fee to establish the collaboration.

Charles River will be eligible to receive development payments with a potential value of over US$50 million per programme in preclinical and clinical milestones for candidates that progress to registration.

The agreement also includes additional potential commercial milestones of up to $120m plus royalties on launched products.

"Takeda has a long history of working with Charles River across our drug discovery and development portfolio and are confident in their breadth of experience and commitment to excellent science. Leveraging Charles River’s integrated discovery capabilities is a natural extension of our relationship," Steve Hitchcock, Ph.D., Global Head of Research at Takeda, concluded.

Cell and gene therapies

Charles River has made the announcement about the deal with Takeda ten days after completing a milestone acquisition. HemaCare Corporation, a cell and gene therapy company headquartered in California (US), is now officially under its wing. The laboratory giant paid approximately $380m in cash.

HemaCare supplies critical biomaterials, including a wide range of human primary cell types, as well as cell processing services to support the discovery, development, and manufacture of cell therapies, including allogeneic (donor-derived cells) and autologous (patient-derived cells) programmes.

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