F-star Therapeutics, an invoX company, has recently announced a strategic collaboration and license agreement with Takeda. This collaboration aims to utilise F-star’s Fcab and tetravalent mAb² platforms, both fully human, to advance the development of innovative multi-specific immunotherapies for cancer patients.

As per the terms of the agreement, F-star and Takeda will jointly conduct research and development activities focused on creating novel Fcab domains targeted at undisclosed immuno-oncology targets. Takeda will gain an exclusive worldwide license, entitling them to research, develop, and commercialise antibodies that incorporate Fcab domains resulting from the collaboration. On the other hand, F-star will retain the rights to research, develop, and commercialise antibodies that include specific other Fcab domains.

In addition to an upfront payment whose details remain undisclosed, F-star will receive research funding throughout the collaboration period.

Furthermore, F-star stands to receive potential milestone payments for future development and commercialization, which could amount to approximately $1bn across multiple programmes over the duration of the agreement.

Additionally, F-star will be entitled to royalties based on the annual net sales of any commercial product resulting from the licensed collaboration.

F-star Therapeutics head and chief scientific officer Neil Brewis said: “We are delighted to expand our relationship with Takeda who shares our vision of developing pioneering multi-specific immunotherapies so more people with cancer can live longer with improved lives.

“This 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 and its ability to progress drugs to the clinic.”

Takeda oncology drug discovery unit head Kathy Seidl said: “Since engaging with F-star in 2022 to develop novel bispecific antibodies and expanding that agreement earlier this year, we continue to make great progress across our collaboration, which speaks to the advantages of their proprietary Fcab discovery platform enabling unique tetravalent mAb² bispecific programs.

“This latest collaboration further expands our research program to include novel multi-specific antibodies to support the development of innovative therapies that harness the innate immune system and engage immune cells to attack cancer cells creating benefit for the patients we serve.”

The latest collaboration and license agreement between F-star Therapeutics and Takeda marks their third partnership of its kind. This follows the previous announcements of license agreements for a first immune-oncology bispecific antibody in July 2022 and a second antibody in March 2023. It’s worth noting that Takeda is actively progressing with the development of these licensed antibodies independent of the newly announced partnership.