Takeda Enters Schizophrenia Partnership: Biotech's Latest Deals

by: The Burrill Report

By Marie Daghlian

Takeda Pharmaceuticals (OTCPK:TKPHF) is teaming up with Intra-Cellular Therapies in a worldwide collaboration worth up to $750 million. The companies will develop and commercialize Intra-Cellular Therapies’ preclinical selective phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1) inhibitors for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. ITI’s PDE1 inhibitors are orally available and have potential to be treatments for a variety of psychiatric and neurological diseases.

Under the agreement, U.S.-based Intra-Cellular will receive an undisclosed upfront payment upfront and will be eligible to receive up to $500 million upon achievement of certain development milestones and up to an additional $250 million upon achievement of certain sales-based milestones, plus tiered royalty payments based on net sales by Takeda. Takeda will be solely responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialization of PDE1 inhibitors. Intra-Cellular has retained the option to co-promote with Takeda in the United States.

Drugs to treat unmet medical needs for central nervous system disorders are one of Takeda’s core therapeutic focus areas. Japan’s largest pharmaceutical joins a growing list of Japanese pharmaceutical companies seeking outside innovation.

Earlier in the week Daiichi Sankyo (OTC:DSKYY), Japan’s third largest drug company, said it was acquiring privately-held Plexxikon for $805 million in upfront cash and $130 million more based on near-term launch milestones with respect to Plexxikon’s late-stage experimental therapy PLX4032 for malignant melanoma.

The Berkeley, California-based biotech has attracted attention in the past year based on the positive results from late-stage trials of PLX4032, a targeted cancer therapeutic partnered with Roche’s Genentech. The acquisition is in line with Daiichi Sankyo’s strategy to address diverse unmet medical needs, including personalizing medicine to maximize patient benefits. Interim results showed that it met its co-primary endpoints of overall survival and progression-free survival among patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma expressing the BRAF mutation.

A regulatory filing for marketing approval is expected to be filed this year in Europe and the United States. With the acquisition, Daiichi will take over Plexxikon’s U.S. co-promotion rights in the United States, and gain entry to the lucrative U.S. oncology market. The deal came on the heels of Kyowa Hakka Kirin’s $474 million acquisition of British cancer drug developer Pro Strakan, and Astellas Pharma’s (OTCPK:ALPMF) May 2010 $4 billion acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals.

Privately-held Japanese specialty pharma SymBio raised $24 million in a Series E financing led by existing investors Cephalon and Jafco Ventures. SymBio also looks for promising compounds outside Japan, which it can in-license for the Japanese market.

In San Diego, renewable chemicals company Genomatica announced it had raised $45 million in its fourth venture round, led by new investor VantagePoint Venture Partners with participation by new investors Bright Capital, part of Russia’s RU-COM Group and Waste Management, possibly the world’s biggest trash collector. Previous investors TPG Biotech, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Alloy Ventures, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson also participated. It brings the total investment in Genomatica to $84 million.

The funds will be used to complete demonstration-scale production and early commercialization plans for Genomatica’s first commercial product, Bio-BDO, a bio-based version of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) made from renewable feedstocks rather than oil or natural gas. BDO, an intermediate chemical with a $4 billion dollar market worldwide, is used to make spandex, automotive plastics, running shoes and more. Successful operation at demonstration scale during 2011 will validate organisms, processes and manufacturing economics, and allow development of the basic engineering package to be used in construction of Genomatica’s first commercial-scale plant, planned for operation in late 2013. The investment will also accelerate the development of additional major chemicals in Genomatica’s product pipeline.

Genomatica engineers E. coli to produce renewable chemicals from biomass, currently sugar, which are used to make plastics, and other products—a $4 billion global market. It plans to use the funds to complete a commercial-scale demonstration project and has plans to build and start operating a commercial plant by late 2013. In February, it entered into a partnership with Waste Management, now an investor, to develop ways to make its renewable chemicals from the synthetic gas created by municipal solid waste.


Global Venture Financings
Company Location Amount Raised (USD M) Principal Activity
Genomatica San Diego, CA 45.0 Renewable chemicals
CardioFocus Marlborough, MA 30.6 Medical devices
Cardiorobotics Raynham, MA 12.5 Medical devices
NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals Cambridge, MA 12.4 Neurology
Tibion Sunnyvale, CA 10.2 Bionic leg
AirXpanders Palo Alto, CA 8.0 Tissue expansion
FluGen Madison, WI 7.8 Drug delivery
Cardeas Pharma Seattle, WA 1.0 Therapeutics
iAMscientist Brookline, MA 1.0 Resource website
Biomatrica San Diego, CA N/A Sample storage
Celmatix New York, NY N/A Diagnostics
SymBio Pharmaceuticals Tokyo, Japan 24.0 Hematology
Retina Implant Reutlingen, Germany 18.0 Ophthalmic
Shijiazhuang Xingbai Pharmaceutical Shijiazhuang, China 18.0 Biologics
Total Raised US 128.5
Total Raised Non-US 60.0
Grants and Contracts
Company Funding Agency Amount Raised (USD M) Principal Activity
FiberCell Maryland Industrial Partnerships 0.3 Bioreactor system
Oxygen Biotherapeutics US Army 2.1 Traumatic brain injury
Starpharma Holdings Victoria's STIUP 0.3 Agrochemicals
BioAlliance Pharma (France) Fond Unique Intermisiteriel 2.8 Flu vaccine
Novavax HHS-BARDA 3 year base contract plus a 2-year option for another $82 million 97.0 Flu vaccines
VaxInnate HHS-BARDA 3 year base contract plus a 2-year option for another $78.7 million 118.0 Flu vaccines
Total Grants and Contracts 220.5
Public Financings
Company Ticker Amount
Raised (USD M)
Financing Type
4SC (Germany) Xetra:VXC 16.1 PIPE
Biofrontera (Germany) Xetra:B8F 2.5 PIPE
Zhejiang Hisoar Pharmaceutical (China) SHE:002099 79.0 PIPE
Tengion TNGN 31.4 PIPE
TapImmune OTC:TPIV 1.2 PIPE
BioSante Pharmaceuticals BPAX 25.1 PIPE-RDO
ImmunoCellular Therapetuics OTC:IMUC 8.1 Follow on
Rxi Pharmaceuticals RXII 8.1 Follow on
ThermoGenesis KOOL 4.5 Follow on
Thermo Fisher Scientific TMO 2,200.0 Debt
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (Canada) VRX 1,500.0 Debt
K-V Pharmaceutical KVA 200.0 Debt
Intuity Medical Private 20.0 Credit facility
Oncolytics Biotech (Canada) TSX:ONC 7.7 Warrant exercise
Biovest International Private 1.5 State of Minnesota and JMS Holdings loan
Total Public Financings-US 2,499.9
Total Public Financings-Non-US 1605.3
Acquirer Target Deal Value
Daiichi Sankyo (Japan) Plexxikon 935.0 Cancer
Fujifilm (Japan) Two Merck laboratories 490.0 Biomanufacturing
D.N.A. Biomedical Solutions (Israel) Entera Bio (Oramed Pharma-Israel) 1.2 Oral drug delivery
Agilent Technologies Lab901 N/A Tools/Technology
Agilent Technologies Biocius Life Sciences N/A Tools/Technology
Mindray Medical (China) Shenzhen Shenke Medical Instrument Technical Development (China) N/A Medical devices
Company/Licenser Company/Licensee Deal Value
Intra-Cellular Therapies Takeda Pharmaceutical (Japan) 750.0 Neurology collaboration
Lycera Merck 307.0 Inflammation drug discovery collaboration
Almirall (Spain) Kyorin Pharmaceutical (Japan) 52.1 Pulmonary drug license
Novavax LG Life Sciences (South Korea) N/A VLP Vaccine technology license
Epigenomics (Germany) Qiagen (Germany) N/A Diagnostics license
Nile Therapeutics Medtronic N/A Cardiorenal therapeutic collaboration