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Engitix Ltd. lands US$500m deal with Takeda in fibrosis

British fibrosis therapeutics start-up Engitix Ltd has entered a collaboration agreement  with Takeda to develop anti-fibrotic therapies in liver diseases.

The collaboration combines Engitix’s unique platform that identifies extracellular matrix targets with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s expertise in gastroenterology research and development (R&D) and commercialisation. The agreement targets the medically underserved market for treatments of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), alcoholic liver disease, viral hepatitis and cholangiopathies such as primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Under the terms of the agreement, Engitix and Takeda will validate targets, identied by Engitix— ECM discovery platform and therapeutics in preclinical development to treat liver fibrosis. Takeda will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialise clinical candidates generated against these validated targets. Engitix will receive an undisclosed upfront payment plus R&D funding for validation of potential targets. Furthermore, Engitix will be eligible to receive more than $500m in milestones, as well as further royalty payments upon sales of commercialised products.

By incorporating tissue- and disease-specific human ECM into in vitro models, Engitix’s platform preserves the natural cell microenvironment offering the unique capability of understanding the bioactive role of human ECM in modulating disease progression in fibrosis. By more accurately predicting disease drivers in human samples, the platform has the potential to accelerate discovery and reduce late-stage clinical failures.