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New Drug Research and Development Program to Focus on the Gut Microbiome

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Jan 2016
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Two biotechnology companies have agree to collaborate on a program to develop and commercialize drugs derived from gut bacteria for the treatment of chronic gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Takeda (Osaka, Japan) and Enterome Bioscience SA (Paris, France) announced they will be collaborating on a strategic drug discovery program to identify and develop potential new therapeutics directed at targets in the microbiome (the population of bacteria living in the digestive tract).

The partners will capitalize on Enterome's proprietary metagenomic platform to support the discovery of potential novel agents (small molecules or biologics) derived from gut bacteria and directed toward targets selected jointly by Enterome and Takeda. Takeda has an option to license selected agents on an exclusive global basis and will be responsible for their regulatory and clinical development as well as their commercialization.

As part of the agreement, Enterome will receive an upfront payment and three-year R&D funding and will be eligible to receive additional payments for each molecule discovered through the collaboration in the form of option exercise, development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments. In addition, Enterome will be eligible to receive potential tiered royalties on the net sales of any products that are commercialized by Takeda.

“This strategic collaboration with Takeda is a significant achievement for Enterome and represents an important step towards realizing the full potential of our expertise and unique capabilities in unlocking the microbiome to generate new therapeutic solutions to serious diseases,” said Dr. Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome. “We are delighted to begin this new collaboration, which will combine our continuing leadership in the microbiome space and Takeda’s global therapeutic drug discovery and development capabilities. It is also an important step for Enterome towards achieving its ambition to become a leading global biopharmaceutical company in the microbiome space.”

“At Takeda, innovation is at the core of our efforts to bring new therapies to patients in the future,” said Dr. Gareth Hicks, head of gastroenterology drug discovery for Takeda. “In partnering with scientists at Enterome, who perform cutting-edge research into microbiome-derived agents, Takeda is able to explore this exciting science and bring innovative therapies forward.”

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