Shire signs monoclonal antibody agreement with arGEN-X


Will make an upfront payment to arGEN-X of €15m

Shire Pharmaceuticals and arGEN-X, a Dutch clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and severe autoimmune diseases, have agreed a long-term alliance to develop human monoclonal antibodies.

ArGEN-X will bring its human antibody discovery technologies to a partnership focused on multiple targets aligned with Shire’s therapeutic focus on rare diseases. The multi-year initiative follows an initial R&D collaboration between the two companies undertaken in March 2012.

Under the terms of the agreement Shire will make an upfront payment to arGEN-X of €15m (US$20.4m), consisting of €3m in cash and €12m in equity. The company will also fund the collaborative research programmes at arGEN-X and pay fees, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, as well as single-digit royalties on therapeutic product sales. Shire will be responsible for clinical development and commercialisation of products, with arGEN-X having the right to license any programmes not pursued by Shire into its own development pipeline.

'Our partnering philosophy at arGEN-X is to create alliances for the long term with select, top tier companies. We have certainly upheld this principle by repeatedly expanding our collaboration with Shire, with today’s announcement marking our most ambitious and exciting venture with them to date,' said Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of arGEN-X. 'We have enjoyed consistent success in our collaboration, recognising important synergies in combining our strengths and capabilities. While we continue to see Shire as our development partner in this new alliance, we value this opportunity to bring programmes into our own pipeline to further our ambitions as a clinical stage, product-focused company.'

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Philip Vickers, Global Head of Research and Development at Shire, said: 'Our arGEN-X collaboration has exceeded our expectations in delivering highly differentiated antibody programmes within our therapeutic focus. The time is right to commit more significantly to the company through a longer term investment in its unique, world class technologies.'