Takeda opens MA manufacturing unit to support cell therapy R&D

The 24,000 square-foot cell therapy manufacturing facility will produce material through to Phase IIb trials, supporting Takeda’s cell therapy ambitions.

In 2019, Takeda expanded its presence in the oncology cell therapy space inking a series of deals and establishing an internal translational cell therapy engine.

To support this, the firm invested in a cell therapy manufacturing center at its R&D headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts which opened this week.

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“The R&D cell therapy manufacturing facility will produce cell therapies for clinical evaluation from discovery through pivotal Phase IIb trials,” a Takeda spokesperson told us. No financial details were divulged.

The firm has several oncology cell therapies in development, including the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) allogeneic candidate TAK-007 – in development with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – which is currently in a Phase I/II study. Takeda also has several Phase I CAR-T programs, through separate partnerships with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Noile-Immune Biotech and othere.

“Takeda’s R&D engine is focused on developing therapies and platforms with transformative or curative potential, which is why we’re investing in cell therapies. Next-generation cell therapy is one of the multiple investigational platforms we are researching in oncology as part of our focus on redirected immunity,” we were told.

“Our oncology pipeline will increasingly emphasize immuno-oncology programs that harness innate immunity through diverse mechanisms of action, including through innovative cell therapies, immune engager platforms, innate immuno-modulation, novel-scaffold immune check point platforms and oncolytic viruses.”

Takeda already has a foot in the commercialized cell therapy door, having acquired TiGenix for €520 million ($614 million) in July 2018. TiGenix’s Alofisel (darvadstrocel) became the first allogeneic stem cell therapy to receive central marketing authorization approval in Europe in March 2018. Due to the acquisition, Takeda has a facility in Madrid, Spain dedicated to stem cell therapy manufacture.


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