arGEN-X has entered into a partnership with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in which both parties will contribute to the funding of a Phase II clinical study of the company's lead candidate, ARGX-110, in patients with refractory Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM).

As part of the agreement, both parties will make a contribution of up to $2.2 million and totaling $4.5 million, with LLS funding coming through its Therapy Acceleration Program, an initiative to speed the development of therapies that have the potential to change the standard of care for patients with hematological cancers. The study is expected to begin in the second half of 2014, and will be led by Steven P. Treon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Bing Center for Waldenström's macroglobulinemia at Harvard Medical School.

ARGX-110 is an anti-CD70 antibody that is currently being evaluated across a range of hematological and solid cancers in a Phase Ib study in Europe.

“WM is a rare blood cancer that, despite significant progress, still remains incurable,” said Lee Greenberger, Ph.D, LLS's CSO. “Nevertheless, understanding the molecular basis of WM, including the role of CD70, has increased dramatically in the recent years. These new findings offer the possibility that novel targeted therapies, such as ARGX-110, could change treatment outcomes in the future.”

Last week, arGEN-X reported that Shire would use its entire suite of human antibody discovery technologies in a collaboration aimed at building the biotech giant’s pipeline by finding multiple targets aligned with its areas of therapeutic focus. The multiyear strategic alliance is valued at more than €15 million ($20.4 million). 

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