GE Healthcare, Takeda to Develop Therapeutic Drugs for Liver Diseases

Nov. 11, 2014

GE Healthcare and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company have entered into an alliance agreement for research and development focusing on imaging modalities in the field of hepatic fibrosis, a key factor in the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases.

According to the alliance agreement, GE Healthcare will provide Takeda with its diagnostic imaging technology used to generate a liver stiffness map as part of the research and development work Takeda is conducting on liver diseases. By optimizing the strengths of both companies in the alliance, the collaborative effort aims to help develop therapeutic drugs as well as new diagnostic technologies for liver diseases, according to a press release.

Currently, the diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis is most commonly conducted by a liver biopsy, in which a needle is inserted through the skin into the liver, a sample of which is then removed for measurement. With MR elastography commercialized by GE Healthcare, in use in the United States since 2009 and in Japan since 2012, it has become possible to measure the relative stiffness of liver tissues in a non-invasive manner. It is expected that this kind of GE Healthcare diagnostic technology will contribute to Takeda's efforts to develop innovative medicines.

“It gives me great pleasure to have been able to build this alliance with GE Healthcare to develop therapeutic drugs to treat liver diseases,” said Tadataka Yamada, M.D., Chief Medical & Scientific Officer at Takeda. “This alliance will assist efforts to develop new therapeutic options that ease the burden on the patient...”

“It is extremely gratifying to me that, through this collaboration, our technologies will be of use in the development of treatments for the liver diseases that are of particular importance not just in Asia, but worldwide,” said Akihiko Kumagai, chairman of GE Healthcare Japan with overall responsibility for liver disease programs. “We have been focusing efforts on developing technologies to help provide solutions for liver cancer...” Read the full release