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Takeda takes the lead on Finch’s ulcerative colitis candidate FIN-524

Takeda has elected to accelerate the transition of development responsibility for Finch Therapeutics’ FIN-524, an investigational oral microbiome therapy in development for ulcerative colitis.

Takeda will now take primary development responsibility for the candidate (now known as TAK-524), ahead of the planned initiation of clinical-stage development.

In 2017, Finch and Takeda entered into a global collaboration agreement to jointly develop FIN-524, under which Finch was primarily responsible for early-stage development activities through to Phase II clinical trials.

Takeda will now assume responsibility for FIN-524 prior to the start of clinical-stage development, enabling the company to leverage its expertise in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) throughout its clinical development.

In 2019, Finch and Takeda also expanded their collaboration to develop microbiome therapies based on Finch’s human-first discovery platform to target Crohn’s disease, a form of irritable bowel disease (IBD).

“Microbiome research is an important pillar of our drug discovery strategy as we continue to invest in novel approaches to treat chronic GI disorders,” said Gareth Hicks, vice president and head of gastroenterology drug discovery unit at Takeda.

“Through our successful collaboration [with Finch], TAK-524 is now poised to become Takeda’s third clinical-stage programme leveraging state-of-the-art approaches to intervene in the gut microbiome for the treatment of GI disease.”

Mark Smith, chief executive officer of Finch Therapeutics, said: “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Takeda to support the TAK-524 program along with our joint discovery work in Crohn’s disease, while we continue to advance other exciting programs in our pipeline.”