Takeda buys out collaborator GammaDelta Therapeutics for solid tumor pipeline

Takeda will buy out GammaDelta Therapeutics a month after the Japanese Big Pharma's U.K. partner entered the clinic with its lead candidate.

Takeda originally linked arms with the biotech under a $100 million R&D commitment and an equity stake in GammaDelta, along with life sciences investment shop Abingworth, that included an M&A option in May 2017.

Now, Takeda is following through on that deal, the Big Pharma said Wednesday. That gives Takeda access to a pipeline of four disclosed assets in gamma-delta T cell therapies for various cancers. The deal includes an upfront payment and biobucks, of which no figures have been disclosed.

GammaDelta began a phase 1 trial of its lead drug in patients with acute myeloid leukemia last month. GDX012 is an allogeneic gamma delta T cell therapy. The rest of the pipeline includes preclinical gene-engineered assets, including one in cancers affecting the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, and two in solid tumors. 

RELATED: Takeda pens GammaDelta Therapeutics $100M pact, with M&A option

GammaDelta has been cited as a competitor by multiple biotechs in SEC filings, including Allogene Therapeutics, TC BioPharm and Agenus spinout MiNK Therapeutics, which landed on the Nasdaq with $40 million earlier this month.

Takeda has acquired other early-stage partners in the past, including one this year. Maverick Therapeutics also started its collaboration with Takeda in 2017 and was bought out for up to $525 million in March.