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28 October 2021

King's spin-out acquired by Takeda

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited “Takeda” this week announced the exercise of its option to acquire GammaDelta Therapeutics Limited, a company focused on exploiting the unique properties of gamma delta (γδ) T cells for immunotherapy.

t cells

Through the acquisition, Takeda will obtain GammaDelta’s allogeneic variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma-delta (γδ) T cell therapy platforms, which includes both blood-derived and tissue-derived platforms, in addition to early-stage cell therapy programs.

GammaDelta Therapeutics’s technology platforms are based on pioneering world-class research conducted by Professor Adrian Hayday and Dr Oliver Nussbaumer, at King’s and the Francis Crick Institute and Professor Bruno Silva-Santos at the University of Lisbon. The early-stage development of the company was supported by Cancer Research Technology. The early stage research was supported by the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health Research Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Adrian Hayday, from The School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences and co-founder of GammaDelta Therapeutics said: “Takeda’s announcement is a massive vote of confidence in an unprecedented approach to cancer therapy arising from our basic research studies."

In committing to Gamma Delta Therapeutics, Takeda can apply transformative off-the-shelf options for treating patients with different types of cancer, hopefully increasing the number of people who survive their disease.”

Professor Adrian Hayday

Gamma Delta therapeutics works to exploit the unique activities of gamma delta (γδ) T cells that are found in the body's tissues where cancers and inflammatory diseases take hold. These distinct immune cells specifically recognise and are activated by molecular patterns of dysregulation associated with cancer. Using these cells the company have been able to develop “off-the-shelf” cell therapies.

Takeda exercised its option to acquire GammaDelta for a pre-negotiated upfront payment as well as potential development and regulatory milestones. The acquisition follows a multi-year collaboration between Takeda and GammaDelta Therapeutics formed in 2017 to develop GammaDelta’s novel γδ T cell therapy platforms.

Professor Richard Trembath, Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences) at King’s said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that Takeda is now progressing to exercise the option to acquire Gamma Delta Therapeutics. I have watched with great admiration the progress of Gamma Delta from the early founding research."

This is a remarkable example of partnership working. Perhaps most importantly of all, the company offers potential to powerfully impact for patient benefit, through the genesis of novel therapies for a range of disorders with continued unmet need.”

Professor Richard Trembath

In this story

Adrian  Hayday

Professor of Immunobiology

Richard Trembath

Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences) and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners