Using its SIMPLE Antibody technology, arGEN-X will isolate and characterize human antibodies against targets Shire has identified and that are known to contribute to the pathophysiology of severe, rare genetic diseases. The company will also bring its antibody capabilities to the collaboration for the preclinical characterization of therapeutic leads. Shire has the option to license the most promising leads for further preclinical and clinical development and commercialization worldwide.
Through the alliance, arGEN-X will receive an upfront technology access fee, research funding and preclinical success payments. In return for its option to develop and commercialize products on an exclusive basis, Shire will pay fees, milestones and royalties on product sales. Specific details of the financial terms were not disclosed.
"Shire is continuing to apply new technologies to address the needs of patients," said Philip J. Vickers, senior vice president, R&D, Shire Human Genetic Therapies (HGT). "Monoclonal antibody therapy is an underutilized approach to the treatment of rare diseases, and this novel platform has the potential to bring multiple drug candidates into our early-stage pipeline. Partnerships such as this one with arGEN-X are an important part of our strategy to bring new therapies to those suffering from rare diseases worldwide."