Gowling WLG acts for argenx in its global collaboration with Halozyme

15 February 2019

Gowling WLG's life sciences team has acted for clinical-stage biotechnology company argenx in its global collaboration and license agreement with Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. Argenx is a biotechnology company headquartered in Belgium and focused on the clinical development of novel antibody-based therapies.

As part of the transaction, argenx gains access to Halozyme's ENHANZE® drug delivery technology to develop subcutaneous product formulations for current or future argenx product candidates.

The agreement provides argenx exclusive access to ENHANZE® for any product targeting the human neonatal Fc receptor FcRn, including argenx's lead asset efgartigimod (ARGX-113) and up to two additional targets. The benefits of ENHANZE® are potentially shortened drug administration times, reduced healthcare practitioner times, and additional flexibility and convenience for patients.

Under the terms of the agreement, argenx will pay an upfront payment of $30 million to Halozyme, $10 million per target for future target nominations and potential future payments of up to $160 million per selected target subject to achievement of specified development, regulatory and sales-based milestones. Halozyme will also receive mid-single digit royalties on sales of commercialised products.

Keith Woods, chief operating officer of argenx, said: "Through our collaboration with Halozyme, a company that has transformed subcutaneous delivery of biologics, we now have the potential to add optimal delivery capabilities to our profile of building best-in-class antibodies against novel targets. By gaining exclusive access to ENHANZE® technology for our anti-FcRn asset, we also solidify our leadership position in this exciting new space that has the potential to disrupt the way severe autoimmune diseases are treated."

Partner Patrick Duxbury led on the transaction from Gowling WLG. The Gowling WLG team worked closely with Senior VP Business Development at argenx, Dr Debbie Allen. Halozyme was represented by Fenwick & West.

Patrick Duxbury said: "We have been working with argenx for a long time and it's great to see that this collaboration will see them continue to grow, as well as offering significant benefits for healthcare practitioners and patients."

Gowling WLG's life sciences team was named TMT Team of the Year at the 2018 British Legal Awards for its advice to the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in relation to their collaboration with global healthcare company Merck & Co.

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