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GEN News Highlights : Dec 1, 2011

arGEN-X Raises $37M to Progress mAb Pipeline

Lead candidate is in preclinical testing against autoimmune disorders and cancer.

Monoclonal antibody therapeutics firm arGEN-X raised €27.5 million ($37 million) in an oversubscribed Series B round of equity financing to support development of its pipeline. The fundraising was co-led by OrbiMed Advisors and Seventure partners, with existing shareholders also participating.

arGEN-X is exploiting its llama immunization-based SIMPLE Antibody™ platform to develop human antibody products against autoimmune disorders, inflammation, and oncology. Its preclinical pipeline is headed by ARGX-110, which targets a cell surface receptor implicated in autoimmunity and cancer. The firm says it expects to make IND filing in early 2013 to enable the start of clinical trials. Additional preclinical-stage candidates include ARGX-109, which is selective for IL-6 and has potential applications against cancer and inflammatory disorders, and a c-Met targeting antibody ARGX-111.

“We have thoroughly validated the unique attributes of our platform and delivered therapeutic-grade human antibodies against every target we have selected to date, including those intractable to other antibody technologies,” comments Tim Van Hauwermeiren, rGEN-X CEO. “We have also outperformed in our first commercial collaboration with Lilly, meeting all technical milestones in record time.”

Signed in January, the partnership with Lilly is focused on the discovery and development of therapeutic antibody candidates against Lilly's targets.