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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Argenx and Halozyme Ink Multiple Target Deal

Written by: | | Dated: Monday, February 4th, 2019


Argenx and Halozyme Ink Multiple Target Deal That Could Hit $540 Million


By Mark Terry


Argenx, based in Breda, the Netherlands, and Halozyme Therapeutics, headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, signed a global collaboration and license deal that lets Argenx use Halozyme’s Enhanze drug delivery technology to develop multiple products.

Enhanze is a drug-delivery technology platform based on recombinant human hyaluronidase enzyme (rHuPH20). rHuPH20 eliminates traditional limitations on the number of biologics that can be delivered subcutaneously, or, in other words, injected under the sky. Typically, biologics are administered intravenously, but with the Enhanze technology, they can be delivered subcutaneously. It also has the potential to decrease the need for multiple injections.

Under the terms of the deal, Argenx is paying Halozyme an upfront payment of $30 million. It also is paying $10 million per target for any targets chosen in the future and potential future milestones of up to $160 million per target. Halozyme will also be eligible for mid-single digit royalties on sales of any products that come out of the collaboration.

This is Halozyme’s ninth global collaboration and license partner for the Enhanze technology. Those partnerships include more than 50 therapeutic targets and three products currently on the market.

The initial collaboration will focus on any product that targets the human neonatal Fc receptor FcRn, including Argenx’s efgartigimod (ARGX-113). It also includes up to two more targets.

“Through our collaboration with Halozyme, a company that has transformed subcutaneous delivery of biologics, we now have the potential to add optimal delivery capabilities to our profile of building best-in-class antibodies against novel targets,” stated Keith Woods, Argenx’s’ chief executive officer.

He went on to say, “By gaining exclusive access to Enhanze technology for our anti-FcRn asset, we also solidify our leadership position in this exciting new space that has the potential to disrupt the way severe autoimmune diseases are treated.”

Efgartigimod is a first-in-class antibody fragment in development for severe autoimmune diseases associated with high levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG). It has the possibility to treat multiple sclerosis, immune thrombocytopenia, systemic lupus erythematosus, myasthenia gravis and skin blistering diseases.

On Jan. 18, Argenx closed on an exclusive global collaboration and license deal with Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson for cusatuzumab (ARGX-110). They will evaluate cusatuzumab in acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and other possible indications. Under that deal, Janssen paid Argenx $300 million up front, and Argenx is eligible for up to $1.3 billion in milestone payments in addition to tiered, double-digit royalties.

Also, as part of the closing, a private placement of 1,766,899 new Argenx shares at a price of $113.19 per share to Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, was completed.

On October 30, 2018, Halozyme licensed its Enhanze tech to Roche for an undisclosed clinical-stage target with an option for two more targets. Under that deal, Roche paid Halozyme $25 million up front and up to $160 million to $165 million per target for milestones. There are also potential nomination fees for the two new targets, if Roche picks any.

Other partnerships for Halozyme’s Enhanze technology include Baxalta, Pfizer, AbbVie, J&J, Eli Lilly, Eisai, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Alexion.



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