Takeda to acquire Crick spinout GammaDelta Therapeutics

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited “Takeda” today announced the exercise of its option to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics Limited, a company focused on exploiting the unique properties of gamma delta (γδ) T cells for immunotherapy. 

Through the acquisition, Takeda will obtain GammaDelta’s allogeneic variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma-delta (γδ) T cell therapy platforms, which includes both blood-derived and tissue-derived platforms, in addition to early-stage cell therapy programs.

GammaDelta was co-founded in 2016 by Adrian Hayday and Oliver Nussbaumer of the Crick and King's College London, with support from life sciences investors Abingworth and Cancer Research Technology, the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK.

Adrian Hayday, co-founder of GammaDelta Therapeutics and head of the Crick’s Immunosurveillance Laboratory, said: “Takeda’s announcement is a massive vote of confidence in an unprecedented approach to cancer therapy arising from our basic research studies.

“In committing to Gamma Delta Therapeutics, Takeda can apply transformative off-the-shelf options for treating patients with different types of cancer, hopefully increasing the number of people who survive their disease.”

Gamma Delta therapeutics works to exploit the unique activities of gamma delta (γδ) T cells that are found in the body's tissues where cancers and inflammatory diseases take hold. These distinct immune cells specifically recognise and are activated by molecular patterns of dysregulation associated with cancer. Using these cells the company have been able to develop “off-the-shelf” cell therapies. 

Veronique Birault, Director of Translation at the Crick said: “The acquisition of Gamma Delta Therapeutics is a huge milestone in turning Crick research discoveries into new treatments. 

“This step forward comes as the result of years of hard work from the GammaDelta team and their partners.” 

Takeda exercised its option to acquire GammaDelta for a pre-negotiated upfront payment as well as potential development and regulatory milestones. The acquisition follows a multi-year collaboration between Takeda and GammaDelta Therapeutics formed in 2017 to develop GammaDelta’s novel γδ T cell therapy platforms. 

“Takeda’s exercise of their acquisition option is the culmination of years of a fruitful collaborative partnership and recognizes GammaDelta Therapeutics’ promising progress in developing novel platform technologies to treat solid tumors and hematological malignancies,” said Dr. Paolo Paoletti, CEO of GammaDelta.

 “Through our work together, we’ve made great strides in developing our proprietary γδ T cell therapy platforms, which have enabled the development of a pipeline of innovative cell therapies and allowed for the advancement of our first program into Phase 1 clinical development. This acquisition builds on the tremendous work of our talented team and provides the foundations to enable rapid development of a portfolio of innovative allogeneic cell therapies, focused on improving outcomes for patients with cancer.

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