Argenx (Euronext & Nasdaq: ARGX) announced on 6/28/2018 the achievement of the second of two preclinical milestones towards an investigational new drug (IND) filing for ARGX-115, triggering a further $ 10 million payment from AbbVie.
In April 2016, argenx entered into a development and exclusive license option agreement with AbbVie to develop and commercialize ARGX-115. Under the terms of that agreement, argenx has been responsible for conducting and funding all ARGX-115 research and development activities up to completion of IND-enabling studies.
Over the course of the past two years, argenx has been eligible to receive two preclinical milestones of $ 10 million each. The second milestone was achieved on 6/28/2018.
ARGX-115 employs argenx's SIMPLE Antibody(TM) technology and binds specifically to the protein glycoprotein A repetitions predominant (GARP), which plays a key role in the regulation of production and release of active transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta). ARGX-115 is believed to selectively limit the immunosuppressive activity of activated regulatory T-cells (Tregs), thereby stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells. While the normal function of Tregs is to suppress certain compartments of the immune system to prevent self-directed immune responses through the release of active TGF-beta, Tregs can also prevent the immune system from recognizing and suppressing pathogenic cells including cancer cells. We believe the selective inhibition of TGF-beta release by Tregs is potentially superior to systemic inhibition of TGF-beta activity or depletion of Tregs and may give rise to therapeutic products with an improved safety profile.
ARGX-115 was discovered under argenx's Innovative Access Program with the de Duve Institute / Université Catholique de Louvain / WELBIO and exclusively licensed under a research and option agreement in 2013.
Argenx has 8 drugs in various stages of development.