Takeda, Wave Life Sciences revise their $230M R&D collaboration, dropping discovery work
Three years after Takeda paid a hefty down payment on a research collab with Wave Life Sciences, the two partners have revised the pact.
The Cambridge biotech announced a revision to its deal with Takeda yesterday — ending their alliance on discovery work. As part of the amendment, Takeda will pay Wave more than $22 million for research and preclinical expenses from the collaboration.
Back in 2018, Cambridge, MA-based Wave entered a mega-deal with Takeda. The deal was two-fold: Wave gave 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 also had the right to license several of Wave’s preclinical programs targeting CNS disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Takeda paid Wave $110 million upfront and purchased $60 million of Wave’s shares at $54.70 per share, a premium of $2 a share at the time. Takeda had also agreed to fund at least $60 million of Wave’s research over four years to advance multiple preclinical CNS targets — picked by and licensed to Takeda.
This announcement comes several months after two of Wave’s experimental drug candidates failed in clinical trials on Huntington’s disease.
The change now allows Wave to advance their preclinical CNS programs themselves, or enter partnerships in the CNS field outside of three targets, which are part of the still ongoing late-stage collaboration between Wave and Takeda: C9orf72, HTT and ATXN3.
The late-stage component of the original collaboration remains the same as the 2018 deal. Takeda still holds the option to co-develop and co-commercialize CNS therapies for those targets. If Takeda decides to opt in on any of these programs, Wave receives an opt-in payment and would take the lead on manufacturing and joint clinical co-development activities.
Takeda would then lead joint commercial activities in the United States and all commercial activities outside of the US. Global costs and potential profits would be split evenly and Wave would be eligible for milestones.
Some of those programs are now in ongoing clinical trials. One is in a Phase Ib/IIa trial for ALS and frontotemporal dementia, and another is in a Phase Ib/IIa trial for treating Huntington’s disease.
“This amendment streamlines our existing collaboration with Takeda and immediately enables us to advance or partner early-stage CNS programs, outside of the C9orf72, HTT, and ATXN3 targets,” said Wave Life Sciences president and CEO Paul Bolno in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing the partnership as we advance our ongoing clinical programs.”
Wave’s cash runway is expected to last into Q2 of 2023, based on its existing cash and cash equivalents.