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GEN News Highlights : Feb 29, 2012

Shire Taps arGEN-X for Human Antibodies against Rare Genetic Disorders

Firm will leverage Simple platform to generate leads and carry out antibody characterization.

Monoclonal antibodies specialist arGEN-X and Shire inked an alliance to generate human therapeutic antibody products against a number of Shire targets relevant to severe, rare genetic diseases. arGEN-X will use its Simple Antibody™ discovery platform to isolate and characterize human antibodies against designated targets, and will also carry out preclinical charactrerization of therapeutic leads. Shire retains an exclusive worldwide option to license selected lead products for further development and commercialization.

Under terms of the deal arGEN-X will receive an up-front technology access fee, along with research funding, preclinical success payments, and in return for Shire’s exclusive development and commercialization option, additional fees, milestones, and royalties on future product sales. arGEN-X maintains its antibody platform is capable of generating therapeutic antibodies against targets that can’t be addressed using other technologies.

The firm also believes its alliance with Shire is an industry first. “Monoclonal antibody therapy is an underutilized approach to the treatment of rare diseases,” adds Philip J. Vickers, svp for R&D at Shire Human Genetic Therapies. “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.”