Sector News

Takeda takes full control of drug for rare epilepsies

March 6, 2021
Life sciences

Takeda, the world’s largest developer of rare disease drugs, said Tuesday that it has reclaimed full rights to an experimental medicine being tested against uncommon forms of epilepsy. The deal inked with New York-based Ovid Therapeutics carries an almost $200 million upfront payment and could be worth as much as $856 million provided the medicine, known as soticlestat, hits certain milestones.

Soticlestat was discovered at Takeda’s research center in Shonan, Japan, and is supposed to block an enzyme expressed in parts of the brain responsible for learning and memory. In 2017, Takeda teamed up with Ovid, a neuroscience-focused biotech, to develop and commercialize the drug for rare epilepsies. The companies then expanded their collaboration the following year.

Now, Takeda is working to secure all rights to its drug. Terms of the new deal, which is expected to close this month, have Takeda taking sole responsibility of the drug, while Ovid is absolved of any financial obligations under the original agreement. Soticlestat is currently in mid-stage testing, where researchers are evaluating it across several developmental and epileptic brain diseases, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. READ MORE

By Jacob Bell


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