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F-star and Takeda Collaborate to Develop Multi-Specific Immunotherapies for Cancer Patients

F-star Therapeutics, an invoX company (“F-star”), today announced that it has entered into a strategic discovery collaboration and licence agreement with Takeda. The collaboration will leverage F-star’s proprietary fully-human Fcab™ and tetravalent mAb² ™ platforms to research and develop next-generation multi-specific immunotherapies for patients with cancer.

F-star's Proprietary Antibody Discovery Platform

F-star is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical business pioneering bispecific antibodies in immunotherapy. The company is committed to working towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases through the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in treatments. F-star has four second-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics in the clinic, each directed against some of the most promising IO targets in drug development, including LAG-3 and CD137. The company's proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate, with over 450 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. The Company has attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.

Takeda's Expertise in Immuno-Oncology

Takeda is a global biopharmaceutical company with a unique understanding of the immune system and its ability to progress drugs to the clinic. The company's head of the Oncology Drug Discovery Unit, Kathy Seidl, Ph.D., stated that F-star's proprietary Fcab discovery platform enables unique tetravalent mAb² bispecific programs, making it a valuable partner in developing novel bispecific antibodies.

The Collaboration Agreement

Under the terms of the agreement, F-star and Takeda will jointly research and develop novel Fcab domains against undisclosed immuno-oncology targets. Takeda will receive a worldwide, exclusive royalty-bearing license to research, develop, and commercialize antibodies incorporating Fcab domains arising from the collaboration, and F-star will retain the right to research, develop, and commercialize antibodies incorporating certain other Fcab domains. F-star will receive an undisclosed upfront payment as well as research funding for the period of the collaboration. F-star is also eligible to receive potential future development and commercialization milestone payments of up to approximately $1 billion if all milestones across multiple programs are reached during the term of the agreement, plus royalties on potential annual net sales of any commercial product resulting from the license.

Advantages of the Collaboration

Neil Brewis, Ph.D., Head of F-star Therapeutics and Chief Scientific Officer, stated that the strategic collaboration leverages the capabilities of both companies by combining F-star's clinically validated Fcab and mAb² platforms with Takeda's unique understanding of the immune system. He added that both companies share a vision of developing pioneering multi-specific immunotherapies so more people with cancer can live longer with improved lives.

Previous Licenses Between F-star and Takeda

This collaboration and license agreement represent the third license agreement that F-star and Takeda have established. License agreements for a first and second immune-oncology bispecific antibody were announced in July 2022 and March 2023, respectively. Takeda continues to develop such licensed antibodies outside the scope of the partnership announced today.

Future of Multi-Specific Immunotherapies

The development of multi-specific immunotherapies represents a promising area of research for the treatment of cancer. These therapies work by engaging the immune system to attack cancer cells, creating benefits for patients. The collaboration between F-star and Takeda is expected to yield novel multi-specific antibodies that can support the development of innovative therapies.

F-star's Commitment to Pioneering Bispecific Antibodies

F-star's commitment to pioneering bispecific antibodies in immunotherapy is evident in its extensive intellectual property estate and partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas. The company's focus on developing tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies represents a paradigm shift in treatments and offers the potential to create a future free from cancer and other serious diseases.

Takeda's Dedication to Innovative Therapies

Takeda's dedication to exploring innovative therapies to improve the lives of patients is evident in its investment in immuno-oncology and its unique understanding of the immune system. The company's expertise in progressing drugs to the clinic makes it a valuable partner for F-star in developing novel bispecific antibodies.

Conclusion

The collaboration between F-star and Takeda represents a significant step forward in the development of multi-specific immunotherapies for cancer patients. The combination of F-star's proprietary fully-human Fcab and tetravalent mAb² platforms with Takeda's unique understanding of the immune system is expected to yield novel multi-specific antibodies that can support the development of innovative therapies. Both companies share a vision of developing pioneering multi-specific immunotherapies so more people with cancer can live longer with improved lives.

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