Takeda teams up with enGene for gastrointestinal gene delivery R&D

enGene CEO Anthony Cheung

Japanese pharma Takeda and Montreal's enGene have teamed up to develop gastrointestinal gene therapies using the latter company's Gene Pill delivery platform.

EnGene's technology delivers DNA and RNAi to mucosal tissues, according to the company's website, and can either induce or suppress expression of proteins, depending on the mechanism of the disease. With the localized or topical delivery, enGene avoids some of the efficiency issues and side effects associated with treatment via the bloodstream.

Under the agreement with Takeda, enGene will focus on two targets, currently undisclosed, and take them through proof-of-concept and IND enabling studies, according to a release. After that, Takeda will choose whether or not to license the candidates. Takeda and enGene will also work on orally delivered antibodies using the Gene Pill technology.

Though payments are also undisclosed, enGene will receive an upfront payment as well as reimbursement on R&D costs. Down the line, enGene will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties.

"We are very excited to be collaborating with the team at Takeda to investigate new medicines for the specialty GI market using enGene's innovative gene delivery platform for the gut," enGene CEO Anthony Cheung said in a statement. "In addition to gaining non-dilutive funding to support the development of our own products, this alliance provides our company an excellent opportunity to grow our drug development capabilities through working with a leading pharmaceutical company in the gastroenterology space."

- here's the release