Evox has announced a new rare disease collaboration with Takeda to develop up to five novel protein replacement and mRNA therapies.

The former, an exosome therapeutics company, is set to offer up its preclinical programme in Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) and a second new programme directed at another undisclosed rare disease, with Takeda also getting the option to select up to three additional rare disease targets as part of the deal.

Evox has revealed that it will be eligible to receive up to $44 million in upfront, near-term milestone payments and research funding, with potential to receive approximately $882 million in upfront, development, and commercial milestone payments from Takeda.

Under the terms of the deal, the Oxford-based biotechnology company will be primarily responsible for research and development activities for each programme until IND-enabling studies and for manufacturing up to and including Phase I clinical trials.

“Evox Therapeutics has developed a novel approach toward treating devastating diseases, such as Niemann-Pick Type C” explained Madhu Natarajan, Head of the rare diseases drug discovery unit at Takeda.

He continued, “The targeted and non-targeted exosomes offer a highly differentiated platform with the potential to enhance tissue delivery for a variety of payloads like mRNA and proteins. Collaborating on the Evox exosome platform also complements our expanding capabilities in cell and gene therapies, particularly with the potential to develop new delivery approaches in addition to our cutting-edge adeno associated virus platform, to provide transformative therapies or functional cures for people living with rare diseases.”

Takeda has also announced plans to reimburse Evox for manufacturing costs incurred after the pre-clinical handover of the programmes.