Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co has linked up with Intra-Cellular Therapies to develop compounds for schizophrenia in a deal that could be worth up to $750 million to the US firm.

Specifically, the companies will work on Intra-Cellular's selective phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1) inhibitors which are at the preclinical phase. for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. In case terms, the New York-based group will get an undisclosed upfront fee and will be eligible to receive payments of around $500 million on certain development milestones and up to an additional $250 million depending on sales, plus tiered royalty payments. The agreement is targeted worldwide, but Intra-Cellular has retained the option to co-promote with Takeda in the USA.

Shigenori Ohkawa, Takeda's chief scientific officer, said the deal will "enhance our central nervous system pipeline", claiming that PDE1 inhibitors "have the potential to be a novel drug with a new mechanism of action which will satisfy unmet medical needs for the millions of patients suffering from schizophrenia". He added that "we plan to accelerate our R&D activities for this compound in an effort to bring this novel medicine to patients as quickly as possible”.

In October last year, Takeda set up a three-year research alliance with the USA's Envoy Therapeutics, aimed at "discovering drugs for schizophrenia that will have greater efficacy and safety compared to current therapies".