Takeda has entered into a $100 million partnership with newly-launched biotech Ambys Medicines to support its discovery and development of therapies for people with serious liver disease.
Ambys is pursuing multiple strategies to develop new medicines for patients suffering from chronic liver diseases, including cell therapy for hepatocyte transplantation, gene therapy for liver regeneration, and drug therapy to replace lost protein function.
The partnership announcement coincided with Ambys’ official launch with a $60 million Series A financing funded by Third Rock Ventures and Takeda
“We are thrilled that Takeda has joined us at the outset to develop our vision to build a transformative approach to liver diseases,” said Jeffrey Tong, Ambys’ CEO. “Ambys will undertake an intense and sustained effort to advance fundamental science and technology, while developing multiple programs aimed at diverse liver disease targets. We are uniting a broad range of scientific innovators to help lead a new era of discovery and clinical translation for people with severe liver diseases, and we are delighted to join forces with Takeda in this important effort.”
“This partnership underscores the exciting potential we see to deliver on the promise of regenerative medicine for people with liver disease,” added Asit Parikh, head of the Gastroenterology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Takeda has committed $100 million, including the participation in the Series A financing. In return, Takeda receives an option to ex-U.S. commercialisation rights for the first four products that reach an investigational new drug (IND) application created under the partnership. If Takeda elects to exercise an option for a product, Takeda will share in 50% of the development costs for any optioned program and will make development and regulatory milestone payments. Ambys retains full US rights.
The Ambys team includes recognised leaders in regenerative medicine, drug discovery, translational medicine and company-building. Company leaders include Jeffrey Tong, Ph.D., interim Chief Executive Officer; Michael Holmes, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer; Jeffrey Finer, M.D., Ph.D., interim Chief Technology Officer; Glenn Pierce, M.D., Ph.D., interim Chief Medical Officer; and Stanley Hollenbach, Senior Vice President of Pharmacology.