KSQ Therapeutics, Takeda to develop novel cancer immunotherapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

January 13, 2021 -- KSQ Therapeutics has entered into a broad strategic collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical to research, develop, and commercialize novel immune-based therapies for cancer.

Under the agreement, KSQ has granted Takeda an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing license to develop, manufacture, and commercialize cell and noncell therapy products that modulate targets identified using KSQ's CRISPRomics technology, a discovery engine that enables genome-scale, in vivo validated, unbiased drug discovery across broad therapeutic areas.

The deal includes two T-cell targets previously identified and validated by KSQ, with the potential to introduce two additional T-cell targets to the collaborations. The companies will collaborate to discover and develop therapeutics that modulate natural killer (NK) cell targets to be identified through the agreement.

KSQ and Takeda will collaborate on investigational new drug-enabling activities, while Takeda will lead clinical development to explore multiple modalities. Takeda will fund all development and commercialization activities. KSQ will have the option to participate in cost/profit sharing on one of the two products based on T-cell targets, in the U.S. and retain royalties on all non-U.S. sales for that product.

KSQ will receive upfront and potential preclinical milestone payments that may exceed $100 million. In addition, KSQ will be eligible to receive development and commercialization milestone payments reaching up to $400 million per program, as well as tiered royalties on net sales of each approved product.

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