Maxygen could earn up to $160 million depending on success in development and regulatory approvals.

Astellas will receive worldwide rights to commercialize Maxygen’s MAXY-4 candidates for autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection with an initial payment of $10 million. Maxygen is eligible to receive up to $160 million in prelaunch milestone payments.

MAXY-4 is a preclinical program to create a CTLA4-Ig protein for rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, and other indications. While Astellas will exclusively develop MAXY-4 candidates for transplant rejection, both firms will work on other indications.

Astellas will finance the first $10 million of preclinical costs incurred in the joint development program. After this, both companies will share preclinical and development expenses in North America and Europe. Astellas is fully responsible for funding development in the rest of the world.

Regardless of indication, Astellas will manufacture the finished product using active drug substance provided by Maxygen and will be in charge of global marketing and selling. Maxygen has the option to copromote any autoimmune therapeutic developed under this alliance in North America. If it exercises this right, Maxygen will share in the profits. Otherwise, Maxygen is eligible to receive tiered double-digit royalties on all sales.

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