Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and PvP Biologics agreed to jointly develop KumaMax, an enzyme designed to breakdown the immune-reactive parts of gluten in the stomach. For celiac patients attempting to maintain a gluten-free diet but who accidentally ingest gluten, KumaMax has the potential to decrease an immune response and reduce the symptoms and intestinal damage associated with celiac disease.
Under the agreement, PvP will conduct all research and development through Phase I. Takeda will provide $35 million to cover PvP’s development expenses in exchange for an option to acquire PvP upon successful completion of the development plan. Takeda may exercise its option to acquire PvP by paying an undisclosed fee as well as development and regulatory milestones.
“This agreement with PvP Biologics reinforces Takeda’s commitment to developing therapeutics targeting celiac disease. KumaMax could address a significant unmet need for celiac patients who try, but are unable to completely, avoid gluten exposure in their diets, and thus continue to experience debilitating symptoms,” said Asit Parikh, head of the gastroenterology therapeutic area for Takeda.
The technology underlying KumaMax was developed at the Institute for Protein Design at University of Washington and is exclusively licensed to PvP.