Takeda licenses seven CNS programs to Neurocrine.


BtoBio Innovation



Author: Jean-Claude Muller, 穆卓Executive Editor at BtoBioInnovation  jcm9144@gmail.com







Takeda licenses seven CNS programs to Neurocrine.




In recent years many large biopharmaceutical companies have stopped their R&D efforts in the neuroscience domain. The decision to halt investments is true across the entire spectrum of brain diseases with a notable exception: multiple sclerosis, where significant progress has been made over the last decade.

It therefore comes as no surprise to see Takeda, one of the last major company active in the psychiatry field, announce the divestment of one of its core business, through an original approach.

Earlier this week Takeda announced that it has granted an exclusive license to Neurocrine Biosciences (San Diego, California, USA) for seven assets from its psychiatry pipeline in a deal worth up to $2 billion. The deal comprises three clinical-stage drug candidates in schizophrenia, treatment-resistant depression and anhedonia as well as four undisclosed pre-clinical programs. The three clinical candidates are:

  • TAK-831, a first in class D-Amino Acid Oxidase (DAAO) inhibitor currently in phase 2 for the treatment of negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • TAK-653, a first in class Alpha-Amino-3-Hydroxy-5-Methyl-4-Isoxazole Propionic Acid (AMPA) potentiator, ready to enter phase 2, for the treatment of resistant-depression.
  • TAK-041, a first in class G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 139 (GPR139) agonist, also in phase 2, for the treatment of anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure) in depressive patients.


Under the terms of the deal, Neurocrine will pay Takeda $120 million in upfront, $495 million in payments linked to development milestones and up to $1.4 billion tied to achieving registration and commercial milestones. Takeda could also opt to receive double-digit royalties on net sales of products developed through this agreement, depending if the Japanese company decides to share some of the selected clinical developments.

“The strategic partnership with Neurocrine allows us to continue to build on our leadership in psychiatry and deliver future medicines for these patients while advancing our clinical assets for rare neurological diseases, such as narcolepsy, developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and neurodegenerative conditions” said Sarah Sheikh, head of the Neuroscience Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda.


Neurocrine is clearly familiar with the field and has already four approved drugs including Ingrezza (valbenazine capsules) for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia, which generated $752.9 million sales in 2019 and Ongentys (opicapone) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Its current development pipeline includes treatments for epilepsy, Parkinsons disease and a second indication for Ingrezza : chorea in Huntington’s disease.


“We are excited to collaborate with Takeda to bring life-changing therapies to people living with serious challenging and under-addressed psychiatric disorders who are in need of better treatment options. With our deep understanding in the fields of psychiatry and neurology, we look forward to developing new treatments for schizophrenia, treatment-resistant depression and anhedonia as part of our diverse clinical development pipeline’” Kevin Gorman,  CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences said in a statement.


On March 28, 2019, Neurocrine had inked a similar licensing deal worth $1.7 billion with Voyager Therapeutics (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) to get access to four gene therapies, including one in Parkinson’s disease and whereby Voyager could also choose to share profits rather than selecting milestones.



Paris, June 19, 2020






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