Takeda is teaming up with the Dutch testing firm Enzyre to develop an at-home diagnostic device that will help people with hemophilia determine their own coagulation status.
Enzyre will receive funding from the Japanese drugmaker to refine its existing technology, with the goal of building a platform that will allow patients to share test results with their care teams over a smartphone.
“Diabetics have long been able to individually manage their disease through home glucose measurement, and we are determined to make this the case for those living with hemophilia,” Enzyre CEO Dirk Pollet said in a statement.
Patients with the rare genetic disorder lack sufficient levels of blood-clotting proteins, such as the factor VIII protein. With about 400,000 hemophilia patients worldwide, many receive treatment at home and only meet with their physicians annually.
“We are delighted to have Takeda on board as our development partner,” added Waander van Heerde, Enzyre’s chief scientific officer. “Next to their financial support, they also bring a wealth of knowledge on the treatment of hemophilia.”
Regular measures of coagulation status and the blood’s ability to clot can help caregivers manage a patient’s risk of excessive and dangerous bleeding or conversely developing clots within blood vessels.
“I hope in the near future we will be able to offer patients and their caregivers an easier, more innovative solution to manage hemophilia at home, while helping the healthcare team provide more holistic, personalized care to their patients,” said Alvaro Herreros, head of Takeda’s rare hematology and neuroscience franchises.
Earlier this year, Takeda was saddled with a $155 million bill over patent infringement, payable to its hemophilia rival Bayer—stemming from a December 2016 lawsuit initially filed by the German pharma against Shire’s Baxalta unit.
Following its $59 billion takeover of Shire—which included Baxalta’s Adynovate recombinant hemophilia treatment, the focus of Bayer’s patent suit—the first half of Takeda's current fiscal year saw its rare disease business decline, with revenues dropping 11% year over year.
In October, Takeda CEO Christophe Weber cited competitive pressure in hemophilia as one of the causes. Formerly Shire’s flagship hemophilia A treatment, and now Takeda’s third best-selling product, Advate sales alone dropped 16% following the fast growth of Roche’s Hemlibra.