Netherlands: Netherland based biopharmaceutical company argenx said it has signed a deal with Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies unit, to develop its Cusatuzumab drug in certain types of cancer.
The deal, which is potentially worth up to $1.6 billion, represents a global collaboration and licensing agreement for the cancer drug Cusatuzumab, the company said.
Cusatuzumab is currently in development in a Phase 1/2 combination study with Vidaza® for newly diagnosed, elderly patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) who are unfit for chemotherapy.
Data announced recently from the Phase 1/2 study will be presented during a workshop being held in conjunction with the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Cusatuzumab (ARGX-110) is an investigational SIMPLE Antibody targeting CD70, an immune checkpoint target involved in haematological malignancies, several solid tumours and severe autoimmune diseases. Cusatuzumab is designed to block CD70, kill cancer cells expressing CD70 through complement dependent cytotoxicity, enhanced antibody-dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis and enhanced antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity, and restore immune surveillance against solid tumours.
Janssen will pay argenx $300 million in upfront cash payment, while Johnson & Johnson Innovation will make an equity investment of $200 million in argenx, the company said.
The Netherlands-based company, which develops antibody-based therapies for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases and cancer, will be eligible to receive potentially up to $1.3 billion in development, regulatory and sales milestones, it said in a statement.