Takeda Working on TAK-888 as H-IG-based Experimental Therapy targeting COVID-19—No Timelines Yet

Mar 19, 2020 | Coronavirus, COVID-19, hyperimmune globulin, Plasma-Derived Therapies, Takeda

Takeda Working on TAK-888 as H-IG-based Experimental Therapy targeting COVID-19—No Timelines Yet

Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda recently announced its coronavirus (COVID-19) therapy. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) is in development to treat infected, high-risk individuals with COVID-19. The industry sponsor is also exploring the repurposing of marketed products and molecules to potentially treat the novel coronavirus.

Elaboration on H-IG

This is a plasma derived-therapy that have previously evidenced some efficacy in the treatment of severe acute viral respiratory infections. They could possibly represent a treatment option for COVID-19. They work by concentrating the pathogen-specific antibodies in plasma collected from recovered patients, for example, or conversely vaccinated donors in the future. In this process, the antibodies are transferred to the new patient and this could trigger the individual’s immune system to react to the infection and improve the probability of recovery.

Rajeev Venkayya, President Global Vaccine Business Unit Perspective

Mr. Venkayya noted that hyperimmune globulin is a plasma derived-therapy previously show to be effective in the treatment of severe acute viral respiratory infections and could be the treatment option for patients with COVID-19. Mr. Venkayya updated that Takeda is collaborating with a number of health and regulatory agencies as well as health care partners worldwide to move this program forward.

To develop TAK-888, scientists will need to have access to source plasma from those who have successfully recovered from the novel coronavirus.

What is Takeda’s experimental product?

TAK-888 is the name for their anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) considered to treat high-risk individuals.

When did they announce the initiation of the program?

On March 4, Takeda declared commencement of the development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) to treat high-risk individuals with COVID.

Does Takeda have experience in this area?

Yes. They are a leader in plasma-derived therapies with over 75 years of experience in the development of plasma-derived products. Hence, the pharma claims they are uniquely positioned to research, develop and manufacture a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal H-IG (aka TAK-888). According to Dr. Chris Morabito, Head of Research and Development, Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit, “Our heritage, combined with our scale, expertise and capabilities, uniquely position Takeda to realize the potential of plasma-derived therapies, such as TAK-888.”

Does the Sponsor offer a timeline?

No. Takeda offers no specifics as to what their actual status is for the development of this targeted therapy. Is it short, intermediate or long term? They only declare that they are at an “early stage” but do note this is a “high priority.” We cannot say. Hopefully they will offer more specifics.

Lead Contact

Rajeev Venkayya, President Global Vaccine Business Unit Perspective

Dr. Chris Morabito, Head of Research and Development, Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit

Source: Takeda

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