Takeda Pharmaceutical and Frazier Healthcare Partners have announced a collaboration to launch Phathom Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel treatments for gastrointestinal (GI) diseases and disorders.
Takeda has granted a license to Phathom for the development and exclusive commercialization rights to vonoprazan in the United States, Europe and Canada in exchange for upfront cash and equity, as well as future cash milestones and royalties on net sales. In connection with the license, Phathom has completed a $90 million crossover financing and $50 million debt facility.
Vonoprazan is a novel, orally active potassium competitive acid blocker (P-CAB) discovered and developed by Takeda. Takeda and Otsuka will continue to co-promote vonoprazan in Japan which they have done since 2015.
Takeda will continue to market vonoprazan in several Asian markets where it is currently launched (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand). P-CABs are a class of drug that competitively block the potassium-binding site of gastric hydrogen potassium ATPase (also known as the proton pump), which is the enzyme primarily responsible for acidification of the stomach.
“Takeda embraces collaboration to further develop and create value around promising assets where partnership makes more sense for our business,” said Asit Parikh, M.D., Ph.D., Head, Gastroenterology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda.
“Phathom’s skilled leadership, with deep expertise in acid-related disorders, positions them well to expand access to vonoprazan in North America and Europe while Takeda continues to leverage its presence in Japan and several Asian markets.”
Following a standard eight-week course of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy, 30–40 percent of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) continue to experience symptoms.1 PPIs in combination with antibiotics are also used for the eradication of H. pylori, which is associated with peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. However, the eradication rate of standard PPI-based triple therapy is reported to be 70-80%.2,3
“We are excited to have the opportunity to develop vonoprazan for the United States, Europe and Canada to address this immense unmet need,” said Tachi Yamada, M.D., Chairman of Phathom and Venture Partner with Frazier. “Phathom represents a truly unique opportunity to launch a new company around a highly experienced, world-class team developing a late-stage product candidate supported by strong clinical data and commercial experience.”
Phathom has completed a $90 million private financing led by Frazier Healthcare Partners with investments from Medicxi, RA Capital Management, Abingworth, certain accounts managed by Janus Henderson Investors, BVF Partners LP, Greenspring Associates, Richard King Mellon Foundation, Sahsen Ventures and undisclosed institutional investors. The company also completed a $50 million term loan facility with Silicon Valley Bank.
“We are very pleased with the quality of the investor group participating in this oversubscribed crossover financing,” said David Socks, interim Chief Executive Officer of Phathom and Venture Partner with Frazier. “We welcome their support in our efforts to advance vonoprazan, a next generation therapeutic with the potential to make a profound impact on the lives of patients with acid-related gastrointestinal disorders.”
Joining Tachi Yamada and David Socks on the Phathom board of directors are James Topper, M.D., Ph.D., Managing General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Partners, and Jon Edwards, Ph.D., Partner of Medicxi.