Second Abingworth gamma delta T cell company, Adaptate Biotherapeutics, to be acquired by Takeda

London, UK, 10 January 2022 – Abingworth, a leading international life sciences investor, announces its portfolio company Adaptate Biotherapeutics (“Adaptate”) is to be acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) for a pre-negotiated upfront payment.

Adaptate Biotherapeutics is a UK-headquartered immunotherapy company, founded in 2019 by Abingworth and Takeda, focused on developing antibody-based therapeutics for the modulation of variable delta 1 (Vδ1) gamma delta (γδ) T cells. Through the acquisition, Takeda will acquire Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T-cell engager platform, including pre-clinical candidate and discovery pipeline programs. Adaptate’s γδ T-cell engagers are engineered to specifically activate γδ T cell-mediated immune responses at tumour sites while sparing damage to healthy cells.

The planned acquisition of Adaptate follows Takeda’s recently exercised option to acquire another Abingworth portfolio company, GammaDelta Therapeutics (“GammaDelta”), and is intended to further accelerate the development of innovative γδ T cell-based therapies. Combining GammaDelta’s cell therapy-based platform and Adaptate’s antibody-based γδ T-cell engager platform with Takeda’s strong research and development organisation positions Takeda to be at the leading edge in deploying the full potential of γδ T cells in the fight against cancers.

The acquisitions of Adaptate and GammaDelta are expected to be finalised in Q1 of Takeda’s fiscal year 2022, pending completion of review under applicable antitrust laws, including the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the U.S.

Abingworth was a founding investor in both GammaDelta in 2017 and Adaptate in 2019, building upon world-class research conducted by Professor Adrian Hayday and Dr Oliver Nussbaumer, at King’s College London and the Francis Crick Institute and supported by Cancer Research Technology. Abingworth has played a role in the growth and development of both companies since inception, providing funding, strategic guidance and operational support.

Tim Haines, Abingworth Chair & Managing Partner, and Board Member at Adaptate and GammaDelta, said: “Having played an instrumental role in creating Adaptate, we are delighted to see the impressive developments of its γδ T-cell therapeutic antibody portfolio to date, under the leadership of Natalie Mount. We look forward to seeing Takeda progress Adaptate’s very promising therapeutic antibodies into the clinic.

“Innovative approaches aimed at modulating γδ T cell activity offer truly exciting prospects for fighting cancers. We are proud to have played a role in developing these approaches through our productive collaborations with Takeda, Adaptate and GammaDelta, translating world-class science into powerful discovery platforms and novel therapeutic candidates. The planned acquisition also underscores the success of the Abingworth build to buy approach to creating and developing start-up Biotechs in close collaboration with Pharmaceutical companies.”

Natalie Mount, CEO of Adaptate, added: “Our acquisition by Takeda recognises the tremendous work put in over the last two years by Adaptate’s incredibly talented team. We have rapidly demonstrated, in preclinical models, the therapeutic potential of our novel Vδ1-targeting antibodies, and this move brings us an exciting step closer to realising the full potential for Vδ1 T cell targeted therapies to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients.

“I would also like to recognise the important role Abingworth has played in creating and developing Adaptate to this point. The team has been highly supportive and collaborative alongside Takeda and provided the optimal environment for us to build on the exceptional science that underpins our technology and to create an exciting foundation for the development of new immunotherapies against multiple cancers.”

View the full press release from Takeda at

About Abingworth

Abingworth is a leading transatlantic life sciences investment firm. Abingworth helps transform cutting-edge science into novel medicines by providing capital and expertise to top calibre management teams building world-class companies. Since 1973, Abingworth has invested in over 175 life science companies, leading to 46 M&As and 70+ IPOs. Our therapeutic focused investments fall into three categories: seed and early-stage, development stage, and clinical co-development. Abingworth supports its portfolio companies with a team of experienced professionals at offices in London, Menlo Park (California), and Boston.

About Adaptate Biotherapeutics

Adaptate Biotherapeutics is an immunotherapy company developing therapeutic antibodies to modulate the activity of gamma delta T cells. Adaptate’s targeted approach enables us to harness and amplify the potential of patients’ own immune cells in situ.

Adaptate spun-out from GammaDelta Therapeutics in late 2019 and has received investment from Abingworth and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.


Tim Haines
Chair & Managing Partner
Tel: +44 (0)20 7534 1500

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