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Crick spinout earns $100m funding deal

GammaDelta Therapeutics, a company built on the research of scientists at the Francis Crick Institute and King’s College London, has secured a $100-million (£78m) collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Takeda.

On 9 May, Takeda announced it had formed a strategic collaboration with GammaDelta Therapeutics to develop the spin-out’s novel T-cell platform.

The company was formed in August 2016 to translate work carried out by Adrian Hayday and Oliver Nussbaumer on human gamma delta T-cells into clinical products.

The collaboration between the two companies will develop a platform for novel immunotherapies aimed at treating a range of cancers, including solid tumours, and autoinflammatory diseases.

Takeda, together with Abingworth, a venture capital firm, is committing up to $100m in funding to accelerate the research and translation.

The funding includes an equity investment, an option fee and R&D funding, and provides the Japanese partner with exclusive rights to GammaDelta Therapeutics’ products and to appoint a director to the UK company board, the Osaka-based firm said in a statement.

Hayday, a group leader at the Crick and professor of immunology at KCL, said in a statement on 11 May that he was “excited to see this translational potential develop and will do our very best to make it a success”.

Veronique Birault, head of translation at the Crick, added that the collaboration showed that “high quality discovery science is essential to generate seed-corn for translation, where research can be accelerated to improve health and bring investment into small businesses”.