Janssen, Argenx in $1.6-Billion Cancer Drug Deal

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, one of the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, and argenx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing differentiated antibody-based therapies for treating severe autoimmune diseases and cancer, have formed a collaboration and license pact worth up to $1.6 billion for cusatuzumab, argenx’s anti-CD70 antibody.

Janssen and argenx have agreed to a joint global clinical development plan to evaluate cusatuzumab in acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, and other potential future indications.

Under the agreement, Janssen will pay argenx $300 million in an upfront payment, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation will purchase $200 million of newly issued shares (1,766,899) representing 4.68% of argenx’s outstanding shares at a price of EUR 100.02 per share ($113.19). argenx will be eligible to receive potentially up to $1.3 billion in development, regulatory, and sales milestones, in addition to tiered, double-digit royalties. Janssen will be responsible for commercialization worldwide. argenx retains the option to participate in commercialization efforts in the US, where the companies have agreed to share economics 50/50 on a royalty basis, and outside the US, Janssen will pay double-digit sales royalties to argenx.

The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Source: argenx

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