Three years back, PvP, which spun out off the University of Washington, secured a USD 35 million investment from Takeda for the completion of the first phase of its clinical trial. As part of the funding, Takeda also had the option to purchase the startup
Fremont, CA: Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda has acquired biotech startup PvP Biologics for USD 330 million. PvP Biologics was renowned for developing a promising treatment for people who are unable to digest gluten. Since the acquisition, Takeda has taken over all clinical work, as well as chemistry, manufacturing, and control activities. It also laid off PVP's entire staff.
Three years back, PvP, which spun out off the University of Washington, secured a USD 35 million investment from Takeda for the completion of the first phase of its clinical trial. As part of the funding, Takeda also had the option to purchase the startup. The trials included the testing of the KumaNax enzyme developed by PvP to find out if it could break down gluten in the stomach and act as a treatment for celiac disease. The investigational treatment aimed to prevent healthy patients from removing gluten from their diets. The drug was named TAK-062, or Kuma062. Following the first phase of the trials, Takeda acquired PvP.
“Many people living with celiac disease manage their symptoms by following a gluten-free diet, but there is no treatment for those who continue to experience severe symptoms,” said Asit Parikh, Head of the Gastroenterology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda. “PvP Biologics’ work demonstrated that TAK-062 is a highly targeted therapy that could change the standard of care in celiac disease.”
Takeda is currently planning to undergo phase two of the clinical trials. Several institutions around the world are developing drugs to treat the disease, including North Carolina company, Innovate Biopharmaceuticals. The FDA is yet to approve any treatment for the immune disorder.
PvP was started as a UW student project in 2011 after it won a competition for synthetic biology. Although the students left, Ingrid Swanson Pultz, who was their advisor, decided to study KumaMax further. Later on, Pultz worked with co-founders David Baker and Justin Siegel to improve the student-made enzyme.