October 22, 2010 — Takara Bio Inc. (President and CEO; Koichi Nakao) announced today that it has entered into a business assignment agreement with M’s Science Corporation (“MSC”, CEO; Shiro Mita) that Takara acquires MSC’s HF10 oncolytic virus business on October 22, 2010. The closing of the business transfer is scheduled on November 30, 2010.

 

1. About the HF10 business
Oncolytic virotherapy is a treatment for cancer using replication-competent viruses. These viruses have tumor selectivity, and cannot replicate in normal cells but only in tumor cells, and then destroy the infected cells.
HF10 is a spontaneously occurring attenuated mutant of Herpes Simplex virus Type 1. HF10 is an oncolytic virus and displays strong anti-tumor activity, when locally injected into tumors, and induces tumor immunity in animal models. The MSC is conducting phase I clinical trial for the treatment of head and neck cancer in the United States, having treated three patients. And investigator-initiated clinical studies in patients with breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and pancreatic cancer have been conducted at Nagoya University hospital, resulted in promising data indicative of safety and effectiveness.

 

Takara will acquire all of the intellectual properties, licenses, contracts and materials related to HF10 from MSC and it will continue the phase I clinical trial.

 

2. Significance of the HF10 business acquisition
Takara has been committed to develop gene therapy, with its proprietary efficient gene transduction method, the RetroNectin method. The RetroNectin method has been applied to more than 50 clinical trials of gene therapy by the medical institutes in Europe and the United States and is regarded as a standard technology used in ex vivo gene therapy. Takara is now developing; (1) HSV-TK gene therapy (donor lymphocyte infusion and add-back therapy) for leukemia, (2) TCR gene therapy for solid cancers and (3) MazF gene therapy for HIV infection.

 

While Oncolytic virus HF10 is a new type of anti-cancer drug, it is classified into gene therapy. Its clinical development and manufacturing of HF10 requires technologies and know-how which Takara owns, including the analysis and manufacturing of virus vectors. Takara will be able to make the best use of its technologies and know-how on HF10 business. By this business acquisition, Takara will be able to expand the pipelines of its gene therapy business, and reduce the risk of its gene therapy business and will enlarge the expected earnings.

 

The expense of this business acquisition is paid by its cash and cash equivalents on hand and Takara will not raise funds by issuing new shares.

 

[ About Takara Bio Inc. ]

Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of the RetroNectin® reagent, which is a world-standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene and cell-based therapy, and agricultural biotechnology; and is committed preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, the Company aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at http://www.takara-bio.com.

 

[ About M's Science Corporation ]

M’s Science Corp. M’s Science is a privately held biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of treatments for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. MSC is currently developing its clinical stage product, SA4503, and its preclinical next generation sigma-1 receptor agonists. SA4503 is a potent and selective agonist of the sigma-1 receptor in development for the treatment of depression and stroke. More information is available at http://www.m-sci.com/e/.