Takeda’s collaborative R&D approach to fight Covid-19

The swiftness with which Covid-19 has spread across the world has hastened unprecedented scientific collaboration to develop tests, vaccines and treatments in order to fight back its scourge. Together, the pharmaceutical industry is working to advance potential treatments and vaccine candidates faster than any single entity could alone.

“Since the world learned of Covid-19, the speed at which the scientific community has joined forces to address the critically high unmet need is inspiring,” said Andy Plump, president of R&D at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. “Together, experts across our companies and industry can accelerate trials with promising, well-understood therapies that upon investigation, may show efficacy in this devastating disease.”

Early on, Takeda took a comprehensive approach to support the global effort to discover, develop and deliver potential treatments and vaccines for Covid-19. Takeda’s global R&D organization has focused Covid-19 efforts around five distinct areas where the company has high expertise and partnerships to contribute to solutions that will make the greatest impact in addressing this urgent worldwide need:

  1. Research: Takeda is investigating small molecules and monoclonal antibody targets that address multiple stages of Covid-19 infections and is actively participating in rapidly forming an emerging consortia to address current and future potential pandemics.
  2. Plasma-derived hyperimmune medicine: As part of the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, of which Takeda is a founding member, the company transitioned its plasma-derived hyperimmune globulin candidate (H-Ig, formerly TAK-888) into a joint development program involving 11 other plasma companies, spanning collection, development, production and distribution. Clinical trials will begin soon.                                                                                                                    Recognizing the urgent need for convalescent plasma to support multiple investigational plasma-derived treatments in development, Takeda and the Alliance are also leading members of The Fight Is In Us coalition. The goal of the coalition is to help encourage those who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate their plasma and provide them with resources and information on how to do so.
  3. Repurposed products or assets in development: Takeda is looking at ways it can repurpose marketed products and new molecular entities currently in development. Four priority clinical assets are currently be pursued.
  4. Data & information sharing: Takeda’s Data Sciences Institute is leading an industry-wide initiative to curate and share Covid-19 related data, including patient and “real time” natural history data. These efforts are aimed at improving the development and design of clinical trials across the industry.
  5. R&D alliances and partnerships: Takeda is proud to be a part of a growing number of partnerships, alliances and consortia with a common goal to rapidly discover, develop and deliver effective treatments for Covid-19 and ensure preparedness for future pandemics. These include:
    • Joining the new CARE (Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe) consortium supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) public-private partnership to accelerate the discovery and development of urgently needed medicines to treat Covid-19.
    • Partnering with Novavax to develop, manufacture, and commercialize Novavax’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Japan.
    • Helping to establish the COVID R&D Alliance, which is comprised of more than 20 biopharma companies, academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations and venture capital firms, to rapidly advance Covid-19 therapies and vaccines.
    • Participating in the I-SPY COVID Trial, a pre-competitive adaptive platform for Covid-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) ICU patients. The I-SPY COVID Trial utilizes Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative’s adaptive platform trial design, which is intended to increase trial efficiency by minimizing the number of participants and time required to evaluate potential treatments.
    • Becoming a member of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership to develop a collaborative framework to prioritize vaccine and drug candidates, streamline clinical trials, coordinate regulatory processes, and leverage assets among all partners to rapidly respond to Covid-19.

Takeda’s team of researchers and scientists, together with its partners and health care professionals, will continue to collaborate and persevere to fight Covid-19. This type of work isn’t new for Takeda – we have always pushed the boundaries, broken down silos and looked for new and innovative ways to bring forth the next generation of therapies not only for Covid-19, but also many other diseases.

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