Japanese drugmaker Takeda secures rights to lupus drugs from UW spinout Resolve Therapeutics in $255M deal

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Resolve Therapeutics today jointly announced that they have entered into a partnership to develop compounds for the treatment of lupus and other autoimmune diseases. The lead compound, RSLV-132, a novel nuclease protein, will begin clinical development later this year.

Resolve Therapeutics is a spinout of the University of Washington, where it was developed in the labs of rheumatologist Keith Elkon and immunologist Jeff Ledbetter. They co-founded this company with CEO Jim Posada, a former dealmaker with Eli Lilly and GlycoFi before that New Hampshire-based company was sold to Merck in 2006 for $400 million.

Resolve will conduct all development work under the collaboration until completion of the first RSLV-132 Phase 1b/2a trial*3 in lupus patients. Takeda has the exclusive option to license the lead compound and all other compounds from the Resolve platform upon the completion of the Phase 1b/2a trial. Upon exercise of its option, Takeda would assume lead responsibility for worldwide development and commercialization of the Resolve products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will help fund continued development of RSLV-132 through an initial payment of $8 million to Resolve in fiscal 2012. Upon exercise of its option, Takeda would pay Resolve an option exercise fee, plus the potential for additional development milestones totaling $247 million. Furthermore Resolve is eligible to receive royalties on product sales.

About Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. It most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent. It is estimated that at least five million people worldwide have a form of lupus. As current treatments only manage the symptoms of lupus, a significant medical need exists.

News coverage:

Fierce Biotech: “Takeda snags rights to lupus drugs from Seattle upstart in $255M deal”

Puget Sound Business Journal: “Resolve Therapeutics makes deal with Takeda

Xconomy: “UW Spinoff Resolve Therapeutics Lures In Takeda, Lines Up Return