Bill Haney’s Skyhawk spears another marquee alliance for its work drugging RNA in Takeda neuro pact
John Carroll – Editor & Founder
Bill Haney’s Skyhawk Therapeutics has scored another high-profile development partner.
Coming after its Shire buyout, Takeda has allied with Skyhawk to discover new small molecules for unspecified neurological conditions. There’s no word on terms, but Haney has had considerable success in gaining significant upfronts for his discovery deals. Skyhawk earlier tied up with a troubled Biogen, while Celgene provided $100 million in cash to determine how Skyhawk’s platform drugging RNA works.
Celgene’s list of disease targets included amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS — and Huntington’s disease.
Drugging RNA has come on fast as an emerging biotech field. Michael Gilman got the party started last February when he ushered Arrakis out after more than a year of quietly setting up the platform. Then at the beginning of this month Expansion Therapeutics had its coming out party, displaying a platform with R&D roots in the lab of Scripps’ Matthew Disney (not related to Tim), who’s had a longtime interest exploring the field. Ribometrix is also involved.
“Skyhawk’s novel approach in correcting RNA expression will complement our expertise in small molecule science and may improve our chances of targeting neurological diseases that have previously been considered undruggable,” says Emiliangelo Ratti, who heads up Takeda’s work on neurosciences.