Takeda Pharmacetical will partner with Crescendo Biologics to develop Humabody® cancer treatments through a collaboration that could generate up to $790 million for Crescendo.

Crescendo will use its proprietary transgenic platform and engineering expertise to discover and configure Humabody® Drug Conjugates and immuno-oncology modulators as candidates against “multiple” targets to be selected by Takeda, the companies said yesterday.

The companies did not detail which types of cancer they will focus on, except to say in their announcement they were “indications with a high unmet medical need.”

Takeda has the right to develop and commercialize Humabody®-based therapeutics resulting from the collaboration.

“Working together with Crescendo will enable us to leverage its important technology to support Takeda’s goal of developing next generation, highly modular and targeted therapies to treat cancer,” Andrew Plump M.D., Ph.D., Takeda’s chief medical and scientific officer, said in a statement.

Through wholly-owned subsidiary Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Takeda agreed to pay Crescendo up to $36 million through a combination of an upfront payment, an investment, research funding and payments tied to preclinical milestones. Takeda also agreed to pay Crescendo up to $754 million in clinical development, regulatory and sales-based milestone payments.

Under the companies’ collaboration, Crescendo will be eligible to receive royalties on Humabody®-based product sales by Takeda.

This collaboration with Takeda represents a significant step forward for Crescendo,” added Crescendo CEO Dr. Peter Pack. “It provides validation of our transgenic platform and our capabilities to rapidly assemble and configure small, differentiated Humabody®-based therapeutics, opening routes to novel biology.”

Takeda has ramped up its collaboration activity in recent months, though the partnerships have focused on another core therapeutic area, gastrointestinal.

Over the summer, Takeda teamed up with Altos Therapeutics to develop its Phase I candidate ATC-1906 for gastroparesis and its symptoms, with an option for Takeda to acquire Altos; acquired ex-U.S. rights to TiGenix’s stem cell treatment Cx601 for complex perianal fistulas in patients with Crohn’s disease; and agreed to develop Theravance Biopharma’s Phase II candidate TD-8954 for gastrointestinal motility disorders.