Madhu Natarajan, Takeda rare disease development head

Drawn to the idea of turn­ing B cells in­to 'pro­tein fac­to­ries,' Take­da jumps in­to a mile­stone-heavy, $900M pact

Mad­hu Natara­jan can trace his fas­ci­na­tion with the idea of tak­ing B cells and turn­ing them in­to pro­tein fac­to­ries back 20 years, when he had his own lab at UT South­west­ern. So when Natara­jan, now the rare dis­ease de­vel­op­ment head for Take­da, sat down for a meet-up with ex­ecs from Seat­tle-based Im­mu­soft at the last in-per­son JP Mor­gan con­fer­ence, they went straight in­to a brain­storm­ing ses­sion.

“That B cells can take up res­i­dence and do what they do for a long time,” says Natara­jan, pump­ing out pro­teins and “lever­ag­ing it in­to a ther­a­peu­tic con­text,” hits his sweet spot for dis­cov­ery deals. And he was deeply im­pressed by what he heard.

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Life Sciences Senior Associate

General Catalyst

San Francisco, CA, USA