In return for Evox Therapeutics’ work to develop the therapies, the UK-based biotech will receive $44m (€39m) in an upfront fee, with a total $882m (€800m) potentially changing hands dependent on milestones hit.
At the center of the deal is Evox’s exosome technology, which are a novel form of biotherapeutic. According to the company, the ability to load exosome with drugs enables the targeted delivery of drugs to certain organs that are traditionally difficult to treat, such as the central nervous system.
In terms of what drug load can be delivered by exosomes, Evox noted that it is able to deliver proteins and RNA therapeutics.
The deal will see Takeda gain access to five novel protein replacement and mRNA therapies, which includes the existing preclinical program for Nieman-Pick disease type C, as well as another program with an undisclosed target.
CEO of Evox, Antonin de Fougerolles, stated that, with the upfront payment, the company now has enough cash to fund the company through to late 2022’ allowing it to work on building its pipeline of drugs.
Evox will be responsible for R&D until an investigational new drug application (IND) is submitted. The company will also be responsible for manufacturing, and the associated cost, of programs up to the Phase I stage.
According to the biotech, the manufacturing process itself is similar to conventional biologics, in terms of upstream and downstream development.
Evox already possesses cell lines for the manufacture of the therapies, as well as having processes that are good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant and scalable.