argenx announces extension of therapeutic antibody alliance with Shire
Llama antibody developer for immune diseases and cancer argenx has announced the extension of its strategic partnership with Shire plc to advance the discovery and development of novel human therapeutic antibodies for diverse rare and unmet diseases for a further year until May 30, 2018.
"The productivity of our collaboration with Shire has presented exciting product development opportunities in previously untapped target territory", said Debbie Allen, Senior VP Business Development of argenx. "Extension of this partnership provides both parties the potential to treat the pathophysiology of rare genetic diseases with potentially first-in-class antibody products".
A strong Belgian-Irish alliance
Under the terms of the agreement extension announced today, the parties will continue to progress preclinical development of the most promising programs to have arisen from the collaboration to date. Upon attainment of specified development criteria, Shire may exercise options - accompanied by a milestone payment to argenx on a per program basis - to take over product development and commercialization. argenx will thereafter receive milestone payments as programs proceed through clinical development and royalties on eventual product sales. argenx shall have the right to in-license any products falling outside Shire's areas of focus on pre-agreed financial terms. Further details of the extension agreement were not disclosed.
The initial agreement between Shire and argenx commenced in 2012 and was expanded into a strategic alliance in 2014 granting Shire licenses to the entire suite of argenx discovery technologies. argenx has since received licensing fees, research funding, and milestone payments from this collaboration.