Degron Therapeutics Announces Multi-Target Collaboration and Exclusive License Agreement with Takeda to Discover Molecular Glue Degraders


Degron Therapeutics (“Degron”), the company using its molecular glue-based targeted protein degradation drug-discovery platform to advance human health, today announced it has entered into a collaboration and exclusive license agreement with Takeda to discover and develop novel molecular glue degraders for multiple targets in oncology, neuroscience, and inflammation.

Degron and Takeda will collaborate to utilize Degron’s GlueXplorer® platform to identify, validate, and optimize molecular glue degraders for specific therapeutic targets selected by Takeda. Upon reaching a certain stage of advancement, the projects would be transitioned to Takeda for further development and commercialization.

“We are excited to collaborate with Takeda, expanding the use of our platform into new therapeutic areas,” said Lily Zou, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Degron Therapeutics. “Degron’s differentiated and powerful GlueXplorer platform has been validated by its robust, first-in-class pipeline of novel molecular glue drugs for disease targets that are undruggable by other modalities or better addressed with this new modality. By partnering with Takeda, we combine our molecular glue discovery expertise with Takeda’s vast drug development and commercialization experience in hopes of offering patients worldwide a new class of treatments.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Degron Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive potential future preclinical, clinical development and commercial milestone payments that could total $1.2 billion if all related milestones are achieved over the course of the agreement. Degron is also eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on sales of any potential commercialized products. The parties have the option to expand the collaboration to include more targets. Additionally, Takeda will make an equity investment in Degron. Degron Therapeutics will retain full ownership of its pipeline programs.

“Molecular glue degraders are a new class of drugs that can be directed at targets previously inaccessible or inadequately modulated by other treatment modalities,” said Chris Arendt, Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research at Takeda. “This collaboration with Degron not only adds an innovative new platform to our drug discovery toolbox, it is also an example of cutting-edge innovation emerging in the exciting China biotech sector.”

Founded in 2021, Degron Therapeutics builds on research from the laboratory of ShanghaiTech University professor and company co-founder Yong Cang, Ph.D. Degron developed a proprietary GlueXplorer platform, which encompasses a unique and expanding library of structurally differentiated molecular glue degraders, multiple complementary screening approaches, and extensive assays to thoroughly validate the molecular glue mechanism for degraders discovered by the platform. Degron has generated a large amount of proprietary data and developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to predict novel molecular glue targets and accelerate compound discovery. Degron has created more than 60 novel diverse cores and 10,000 compounds for its library and a robust pipeline of programs targeting important disease targets including previously undruggable ones across multiple therapeutic areas.