An anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) is being developed by the company to treat infected, high-risk individuals.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. has said it will share with members of the United States Congress the development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) to treat high-risk individuals with coronavirus outbreak, while also studying whether Takeda’s currently marketed and pipeline products may be effective treatments for infected patients. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
Hyper immune globulins are plasma derived-therapies that have previously been shown to be effective in the treatment of severe acute viral respiratory infections and may be a treatment option for COVID-19. Takeda has the expertise to research, develop, and manufacture a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal H-IG, which Takeda is referring to as TAK-888.
Takeda is currently in discussions with multiple national health and regulatory agencies and health care partners in the US, Asia, and Europe to expeditiously move the research into TAK-888 forward. This requires access to source plasma from people who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 or who have been vaccinated, once a vaccine is developed. These convalescent donors have developed antibodies to the virus that could potentially mitigate the severity of illness in COVID-19 patients and possibly prevent it.
H-IG works by concentrating the pathogen-specific antibodies from plasma collected from recovered patients or vaccinated donors in the future. By transferring the antibodies to a new patient, it may help that person’s immune system respond to the infection and increase their chance of recovery. Because the plasma needed for TAK-888 is unlikely to come from current plasma donors, Takeda will initially produce the therapy in a segregated area within its manufacturing facility in Georgia, and development and production of it should not negatively impact Takeda’s ability to produce its other plasma-derived therapies.
“Plasma-derived therapies are critical, life-saving medicines that thousands of people with rare and complex diseases rely on every day around the world,” said Dr. Chris Morabito, Takeda’s Head of Research and Development, Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit.
In addition, Takeda is exploring whether select marketed therapies and molecules in its drug library could be viable candidates for the effective treatment of COVID-19. These efforts are at an early stage but being given a high priority within the company.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which can cause pneumonia and has resulted in more than 3,000 deaths globally since its recent discovery. To date, there are no approved vaccines or therapies to prevent or treat COVID-19.