On January 3, 2019, Takeda announced multiple research collaborations involving the development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies for various cancers, and the company is working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) on the approach.1 One of the therapies under investigation is for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

“We are excited by the recent momentum in oncology R&D, especially around the curative potential of cell-based therapies through our growing partnership network,” said Phil Rowlands, PhD, head of the oncology therapeutic area unit at Takeda, in a statement.1 “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with some of the leading pioneers in the field to fuel research and discovery with the aim of targeting novel mechanisms of action in the cancer-immunity cycle to help us fulfill our aspiration to cure cancer.”

The collaboration with MSKCC will also include the development of CAR-T therapies for acute myeloid leukemia and solid tumors. Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Cell Engineering at MSKCC and scientific founder of Juno Therapeutics will co-lead this collaboration.

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Other collaborations Takeda announced included a partnership with Noile-Immune Biotech, Inc to codevelop 2 CAR-T cell therapies for solid tumor indications, with plans to secure regulatory approval for human testing for 1 of the investigational therapies by the end of this year.

Lastly, Takeda announced it exercised a license option for an exclusive oncology-targeted Humabody® from Crescendo Biologics Ltd. This will allow Takeda to investigate the Humabody® VHs for tumor targeting of CAR-T therapies. Use of Humabody would give scientists the ability to “leverage the unique properties of single-domain tumor-targeted binders as an alternative to conventional single-chain variable fragment (scFv)-based approaches,” noted the release.1


  1. Takeda announces multiple cell therapy collaborations to advance the company’s novel immuno-oncology portfolio [press release]. Cambridge, MA; Osaka, Japan: Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. January 3, 2019. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190103005087/en/Takeda-Announces-Multiple-Cell-Therapy-Collaborations-Advance. Accessed January 7, 2019.