Take­da com­mits to a $230M pack­age to seal block­buster neu­ro­log­i­cal R&D deal with Wave Life Sci­ences

Biotech gi­ant Take­da is en­ter­ing a mega-sized part­ner­ship with Wave Life Sci­ences, a Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts-based com­pa­ny, to work on a se­ries of pro­grams for neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders. The pact in­cludes a hefty up­front check and $2 bil­lion in po­ten­tial mile­stone mon­ey for Wave.

The part­ner­ship comes in two pieces. First, Wave $WVE will give Take­da the op­tion to co-de­vel­op and co-com­mer­cial­ize pro­grams in Hunt­ing­ton’s dis­ease, amy­otroph­ic lat­er­al scle­ro­sis (ALS), fron­totem­po­ral de­men­tia, and spin­ocere­bel­lar atax­ia type 3. Take­da will al­so have the right to li­cense sev­er­al pre­clin­i­cal pro­grams tar­get­ing CNS dis­or­ders, in­clud­ing Alzheimer’s and Parkin­son’s.

Take­da will pay Wave $110 mil­lion up­front and pur­chase $60 mil­lion of Wave’s shares at $54.70 per share (a pre­mi­um on the cur­rent price of $52.70 as of time of pub­li­ca­tion). Take­da will al­so fund at least $60 mil­lion of Wave’s re­search over a 4-year pe­ri­od to ad­vance mul­ti­ple pre­clin­i­cal tar­gets picked by and li­censed to Take­da, which has now struck im­pres­sive back-to-back R&D pacts to ex­pand its pipeline of neu­ro­sciences drugs.

Paul Bol­no

“This part­ner­ship pro­vides ad­di­tion­al re­sources to ad­vance our clin­i­cal pro­grams through mul­ti­ple da­ta read­outs while con­tin­u­ing to ex­pand our pipeline in neu­rol­o­gy and oth­er ther­a­peu­tic ar­eas,” said Wave’s pres­i­dent and CEO Paul Bol­no in a state­ment. “We look for­ward to work­ing with Take­da and lever­ag­ing our ex­per­tise in oligonu­cleotides and clin­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties to grow our com­pa­ny and con­tin­ue to make sci­en­tif­ic and med­ical ad­vances on be­half of pa­tients.”

At any time dur­ing the four-year term, the com­pa­nies may part­ner on up to six ear­ly-stage pro­grams.

Mak­ing the rather hope­ful as­sump­tion that Take­da ad­vances six pro­grams that achieve reg­u­la­to­ry ap­proval and com­mer­cial mile­stones, Wave says it’s el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive more than $2 bil­lion in cash mile­stone pay­ments, $1 bil­lion of which would be pre­com­mer­cial mile­stones.

A lit­tle more than a month ago Take­da — which has been re­struc­tur­ing its R&D or­ga­ni­za­tion and strat­e­gy over the past two years — part­nered with ris­ing neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion star De­nali $DNLI in a $1 bil­lion-plus pact, un­der­scor­ing a com­mit­ment to the field in a deal that was quick­ly fol­lowed by a piv­otal Alzheimer’s fail­ure for Ac­tos.

Emil­ian­ge­lo Rat­ti

“Take­da is deeply com­mit­ted to pur­su­ing in­no­v­a­tive ap­proach­es in neu­ro­science re­search and de­vel­op­ment,” said Emil­ian­ge­lo Rat­ti, head of the neu­ro­science ther­a­peu­tic area unit at Take­da, in a state­ment. “Our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wave will fur­ther en­able our fo­cus to ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of trans­for­ma­tion­al ther­a­pies for pa­tients for whom there are cur­rent­ly no treat­ments avail­able.”

John Hood [file photo]

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On June 18, 2019, we initiated a confidential arbitration proceeding against Dr. Asa Abeliovich, our former consulting co-founder, related to alleged breaches of his consulting agreement and the improper use of our confidential information that he learned during the course of rendering services to us as our consulting Chief Scientific Officer/Chief Innovation Officer. We are in the early stage of this arbitration proceeding and are unable to assess or provide any assurances regarding its possible outcome.

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Abeliovich and Prevail, though, aren’t taking this one lying down.

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CEO Pascal Soriot via Getty Images

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