Molecular Templates | $MTEM Stock | Shares Gap Sharply Higher on Takeda Partnership Deal

Molecular Templates

Molecular Templates Inc (NASDAQ: MTEM)


Molecular Templates has signed a joint partnership deal with Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd for the development of CD38-targeted engineered toxin bodies (ETBs) to treat multiple myeloma disease. CD38-targeted ETB is a protein-based oncology therapy that was developed by both companies.

The companies will work together to further develop the therapy under a revised agreement. The announcement was made before US markets opened for the normal session on Wednesday, pushing shares of Molecular Templates to $6.20 after a gain of 51.2%. MTEM stock later jumped $3.09, or 75.37% to change hands at $7.19 in the early hours of regular trade.

Under the new deal, Molecular Templates will receive an upfront payment of $30 million from Takeda, and will be eligible for a potential $632.5 million in commercial, development and milestone payments, or up to $337.5 million in payments if the no milestone is achieved.

Executive Comments

“We have worked closely with Takeda’s scientific team since October 2016 to develop CD38-targeted ETBs with substantial improvements over our own internal program, MT-4019. Takeda’s expertise in multiple myeloma and strong antibody capabilities allowed us to develop CD38-targeted ETBs that, of the ones tested to date, are the most potent ETBs we have created with our platform. We look forward to moving this program into the clinic,” said Eric Poma, Ph.D., Molecular Templates’ Chief Executive and Scientific Officer.

Philip Rowlands, Ph.D., Head, Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda had this to say on the deal, “This collaboration builds on Takeda’s deep history and commitment to the study of blood cancers, including multiple myeloma. Throughout our research collaboration with Molecular Templates, we have seen the promise of its ETB platform for the discovery and development of new therapies.

“As we expand our relationship and continue to explore next-generation modalities, our hope is to bring forth new and important treatment options for patients,” Rowlands concluded.

Molecular Templates, Inc Company Profile

Molecular Templates, Inc., formerly Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated on October 17, 2001, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The company is engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic and diagnostic agents that selectively target tumor cells for the treatment of patients living with cancer.

The company also focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of immunotoxins called engineered toxin bodies (ETBs). It is developing two therapeutic product candidates based on hypoxia-activated prodrug technology: evofosfamide and tarloxotinib. Its lead drug candidate MT-3724 is an is an immunotoxin that targets the CD20 cell surface antigen present in a variety of lymphomas and leukemias.

It is also developing Evofosfamide that is designed as a prodrug that is activated under the extreme hypoxic conditions commonly found in tumors, but not in healthy tissues. The development plan for evofosfamide is focused on analyzing the MAESTRO data for the purposes of pursuing potential registration pathways in pancreatic cancer with regulatory authorities and potential partners.

In addition, the Company is developing evofosfamide in combination with antiangiogenics in investigator sponsored clinical trials as supported by preclinical and clinical data. – Reuters