Former Medivation CMO Takes Helm at Roivant Sciences-Takeda's Newly Launched Company Myovant Sciences

Former Medivation CMO Takes Helm at Roivant Sciences-Takeda's Newly Launched Company Myovant Sciences June 6, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Osaka, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Hamilton, Bermuda-based Roivant Sciences, announced that they had together launched Myovant Sciences. Myovant will focus on women’s health and prostate cancer.

Takeda granted an exclusive, worldwide license, except for Japan and specific Asian countries, to Myovant for relugolix (TAK-385), a Phase III drug that has been evaluated in more than 1,300 patients so far. In Phase II trials, the drug has shown positive results for uterine fibroids, endometriosis and prostate cancer.

In addition, Takeda licensed to Myovant a compound known as RVT-602 (TAK-448), an oligopeptide kisspeptin receptor agonist to treat infertility in women.

The new company will be led by Lynn Seely, who will be president and chief executive officer. She was previously chief medical officer of Medivation from 2005 to 2015, where she led the development of Xtandi (enzalutamide).

“With Takeda strengthening its focus around the core therapeutic areas of oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system diseases, as well as establishing a strategy that embraces innovative partnerships, it is important that we seek alternatives to further develop and create value around promising assets that are either outside these areas of focus or where strategic partnership makes more sense for our business,” said Andrew Plump, Takeda’s chief medical and scientific officer, in a statement. “The formation of Myovant Sciences represents such an innovative partnership arrangement to further advance relugolix by relying on Roivant’s and Myovant’s in-house development capabilities in the major markets where they are building deep expertise, while leveraging Takeda’s commercial presence in certain Asian territories.”

Roivant Sciences spun out of Axovant Sciences in May 2014. Axovant was founded by then 30-year-old Vivek Ramaswamy, a former hedge-fund manager. Axovant appears to be focused on Alzheimer’s research. That company’s Alzheimer’s drug, RVT-101, has shown some promise in clinical trials.

Roivant focuses on several different disease areas, including neurology, dermatology, rare diseases, hepatology, oncology and endocrinology.

Relugolix is an oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist to treat uterine fibroids and endometriosis, and has a potential to be a best- and first-in-class treatment for hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. It has done well in Phase II trials, and Takeda is presently enrolling two Phase III trials in Japan for uterine fibroids.

RVT-602 (TAK-448) acts to stimulate the release of GnRH and downstream hormones involved in fertility.

Financial details of the licenses and company launch have not been disclosed.

Lynn Seely led the creation of Medivation’s clinical organization, as well as regulatory, quality, project management, medical affairs and biologics manufacturing. She is currently on the board of directors of Blueprint Medicines Corporation , and previously acted as vice president of Clinical Development at Anesiva, formerly Corgentech, as well as at Cytyc Health Corporation.

“I look forward to delivering on Myovant’s mission to bring innovative new treatments to women suffering from diseases such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis and to men with prostate cancer,” said Seely, in a statement. “Relugolix and our partnership with Takeda represent an exceptional foundation on which to build this exciting new company.”

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