Cell Therapy
Cell-Based IO
Collaborations, Mergers & Acquisitions

Takeda Set to Acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics, Accelerating Allogeneic Cell Therapy Development for Solid Tumours

Georgi Makin
28 October 2021
The acquisition will expand Takeda’s established immuno-oncology and cell therapy portfolio, utilising novel platforms for the future treatment of solid tumours and haematological malignancies.

Takeda has announced the company is set to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics, obtaining GammaDelta’s allogeneic variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma-delta (γδ) T cell therapy platforms.

Currently focussed on the exploitation of the unique properties of gamma delta (γδ) T cells for immunotherapy, GammaDelta’s T cell therapy platforms include technologies for early-stage cell therapy programs as well as both blood- and tissue-derived immunotherapy platforms.

“Collaborating with scientific innovators with unique technology platforms and deep domain expertise, such as the GammaDelta team, allows Takeda to identify and accelerate the most promising approaches that can be developed into products to impact the lives of cancer patients,” explained Christopher Arendt, Head of Oncology Cell Therapy and Therapeutic Area Unit of Takeda.

“We’re committed to developing cell therapies that will have an impact on large segments of patients by focusing on off-the-shelf, allogeneic cell therapies that are highly accessible and have the potential to address solid tumours.”

– Christopher Arendt, Takeda

“Gamma-delta T cell-based therapies represent a differentiated approach to target both solid tumours and haematological malignancies, and we are eager to integrate GammaDelta’s cell therapy platforms into our immuno-oncology R&D efforts,” Christopher continued.

The upcoming acquisition follows a multi-year collaboration between the two companies – agreed in 2017 – formed to develop GammaDelta’s novel γδ T cell therapy platforms, in which Takeda received an equity stake and an exclusive right to purchase GammaDelta.

According to a recent press release, the acquisition deal is anticipated to be completed in Q1 of Takeda’s fiscal year, and is contingent on completion of review under antitrust laws.

“Takeda’s exercise of their acquisition option is the culmination of years of a fruitful collaborative partnership and recognises GammaDelta Therapeutics’ promising progress in developing novel platform technologies to treat solid tumours and haematological malignancies,” Paolo Paoletti, CEO of GammaDelta, added.

Takeda claims to be seeking to broaden the impact of immunotherapy in cancer treatment through leveraging innate immunity, which can ultimately help to overcome the cancer’s ability for avoiding immune recognition.

“Through our work together, we’ve made great strides in developing our proprietary γδ T cell therapy platforms, which have enabled the development of a pipeline of innovative cell therapies and allowed for the advancement of our first program into Phase I clinical development. This acquisition builds on the tremendous work of our talented team and provides the foundations to enable rapid development of a portfolio of innovative allogeneic cell therapies, focused on improving outcomes for patients with cancer.”

Tim Haines, Chair and Managing Partner of Abingworth, the founding investor in GammaDelta, concluded: “We are delighted to have been involved in the creation of GammaDelta and to have worked closely with the leadership team and alongside an excellent partner in Takeda to progress this world-class UK academic science to the next stage of its development.”

Takeda further announced today that the company will buy back its own shares, ‘to enhance capital efficiency and improve shareholder returns’.

Source: Takeda press release