AbbVie Signs Deal Worth Up to $685 Million for Immunology Drug Candidate
AbbVie and argenx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for cancer and severe autoimmune diseases based in Breda, the Netherlands will collaborate to develop and commercialize ARGX-115. argenx’ preclinical-stage human antibody program targeting the immuno-oncology target GARP, a protein believed to contribute to immuno-suppressive effects of T-cells, in a deal valued up to $685 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, argenx will conduct research and development through IND-enabling studies. Upon successful completion of these studies, AbbVie may exercise an exclusive option to license the ARGX-115 program and assume responsibility for further clinical development and commercialization. argenx will receive an upfront payment of $40 million from AbbVie for the exclusive option to license ARGX-115 and near-term preclinical milestones of $20 million. argenx is also eligible to receive additional development, regulatory and commercial payments up to $625 million upon achievement of pre-determined milestones as well as tiered, up to double-digit royalties on net sales upon commercialization. argenx has the right to co-promote ARGX-115-based products in the European Union and Swiss Economic Area and combine the product with its own future immuno-oncology programs. Should AbbVie not exercise its option to license ARGX-115, argenx retains the right to pursue development of ARGX-115 alone.
In addition to the ARGX-115 program, and upon reaching a predetermined preclinical stage milestone, AbbVie will fund further GARP-related research by argenx for an initial period of two years. AbbVie will have the right to license additional therapeutic programs emerging from this research, for which argenx could receive associated milestone and royalty payments.