As the name suggests, GammaDelta is focused on using gamma delta T-cells to treat disease. Unlike alpha beta and B cells that bind specific foreign receptors, alpha delta cells respond to a range of chemical signals released by stressed cells.
The idea is that gamma delta-based cell therapies will be able to recognize a wider variety of tumours. In addition, because gamma delta cells do not target specific receptors, cancerous cells cannot evade detection by modifying expression patterns.
GammaDelta did not respond to a request for additional information. On its website the firm claims it is able to isolate gamma delta cells, culture them and turn into therapies.
$100m R&D deal
Takeda – and GammaDelta’s venture capital backer Abingworth LLC – have committed $100m (€92m) to the partnership, some of which will be used to fund R&D.
Daniel Curran, head of Takeda’s Center for External Innovation, said: “This collaboration is another example of our strategy to invest in highly innovative areas of science and we’re pleased to collaborate with the experienced team at GammaDelta.”
The deal – which gives Takeda an equity stake in GammaDelta as well as the option to buy – is similar to the $125m agreement it struck with T cell developer Maverick Therapeutics Inc. in January.
The option to acquire is in keeping with its $35m agreement with PvP Biologics, also signed in January.