Osaka, Japan and Somerville, MA, April 5 2017 – Finch Therapeutics, a privately held microbiome engineering company, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) (TSE: 4502), today announced a global collaboration agreement to jointly develop FIN-524. FIN-524 is a live biotherapeutic product in pre-clinical research. It is composed of cultured bacterial strains that have been linked to favorable clinical outcomes in studies of microbiota transplantations in IBD. The collaboration combines Finch’s unique discovery platform with Takeda’s strength in drug development for gastrointestinal (GI) diseases to advance a new class of microbial therapy.
“Takeda’s deep GI expertise and recent success in bringing therapies to IBD patients complements our own expertise in microbiome engineering,” said Mark Smith, Ph.D., CEO of Finch. “Our human-first discovery platform uses data from successful clinical experiences with fecal transplants to design novel microbiome therapeutics for IBD and other diseases. Working with Takeda, we’re well positioned to bring a potentially transformative and scalable new therapy to patients.”
“We partner with the most innovative scientists and companies in GI research to speed the discovery and development of new therapeutic options for patients with GI diseases,” said Gareth Hicks, Ph.D., head of gastroenterology drug discovery for Takeda. “The truly innovative approach to therapeutic design established by Finch and the foundation of clinical evidence underlying FIN-524 make us excited to be working with our new partners in this rapidly developing field of medicine.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will make an upfront payment of $10 million to Finch for the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize FIN-524 and rights to follow-on products in IBD. Finch will be eligible for development, regulatory and commercial financial milestones and tiered royalties on worldwide net sales. Finch and Takeda may elect to extend this collaboration to additional, related indications on similar terms. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Finch Therapeutics
Finch Therapeutics is a mission-driven microbiome engineering company that aims to develop novel microbial therapies serving patients with serious and unmet medical needs. Founded by data scientists, clinicians, and microbiologists from MIT and OpenBiome, Finch uses machine learning algorithms informed by high-throughput molecular data to reverse engineer successful experiences with fecal transplantation. Rather than relying on in-vitro screening of a library of isolates, Finch uses this human-first discovery approach to identify strains that drive clinical phenotypes of interest and to develop therapies that deliver these microbial communities to patients. FIN-524, a collection of microbes grown in pure culture to treat IBD, is Finch’s first product candidate based on a synthetic ecology of microorganisms.
Takeda’s Commitment to Gastroenterology
Takeda is a global leader in gastroenterology. With expertise spanning more than 25 years, the company’s dedication to innovation continues to evolve and have a lasting impact. Beginning in the 1990’s Takeda pioneered gastroenterological breakthroughs in proton pump inhibitors. Since that time, Takeda’s global capabilities have expanded into the specialty care market in gastroenterology and biologics with a focus on ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Takeda’s expertise also remains focused on therapeutic agents that work to reduce the production of acid in the stomach, and options for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and opioid-induced constipation. Through specialized and strategic in-house development, external partnerships, in-licensing and acquisitions, Takeda currently has a number of promising early stage GI assets in development, and remains committed to delivering innovative, therapeutic options for patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases.