Deals this week: Argenx, SmartZyme BioPharma, Viracta Therapeutics

7th December 2018 (Last Updated December 7th, 2018 00:00)

Argenx will develop and license its cancer drug candidate cusatuzumab (ARGX-110) after partnering with Janssen Pharmaceutical’s affiliate company Cilag International.

Argenx will develop and license its cancer drug candidate cusatuzumab (ARGX-110) after partnering with Janssen Pharmaceutical’s affiliate company Cilag International.

The two companies will jointly investigate the drug further to treat AML, MDS and other potential future indications.

Argenx will receive $300m upfront from Janssen as part of the deal. The company is also eligible to receive up to $1.3bn as milestone payments.

Argenx will have an option to commercialise the drug in the US, while Janssen will be responsible for the commercialisation in rest of the world. Argenx will be eligible to receive double-digit royalties on the drug’s sales outside the US.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation will invest $200m as equity in Argenx.

The partnership will improve Argenyx’s financial position and growth.

Argenx is a biotechnology company based in Netherlands, while Cilag International is a pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland.

"Viracta Therapeutics' new treatment for virus-related cancers will be made available in China after the company partnered with Salubris Pharmaceuticals."

SmartZyme BioPharma has collaborated with HemoShear Therapeutics for the development of new protein-based therapies to treat rare metabolic diseases.

SmartZyme BioPharma will spin off its proprietary protein engineering platform into a new company called Carnot BioSciences to support the partnership.

Carnot will modify the human enzymes identified by HemoShear for the treatment of certain undisclosed genetic, metabolic disorders. The two companies will work jointly to discover new drug candidates, while each company will individually advance its specific programmes into clinical development.

SmartZyme is a medical technology company, while HemoShear is a biotechnology firm. Both companies are based in the US.

Financial details of the collaboration remain undisclosed.

Viracta Therapeutics' new treatment for virus-related cancers will be made available in China after the company partnered with Salubris Pharmaceuticals.

Lead investor Salubris has completed the initial financing of $10m. New investor Virtus Inspire Ventures participated in the financing round along with the existing companies of NantKwest, Latterell Venture Partners and Forward Ventures.

Viracta is additionally eligible to receive up to $58m in milestone payments and sales royalties.

Commercialisation rights for the drug outside of China will remain with Viracta Therapeutics.

Viracta is a drug-development company based in the US, while Salubris is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in China.

InSitu Biologics has secured more than $2m in investments in a Reg A+ financing round for the advancement of non-opioid painkilling drug candidates into clinical development.

Founded in 2014, InSitu Biologics is a biotechnology company based in the US.

Craft Capital Management has completed a $10m investment in Variant Pharmaceuticals.

Craft Capital Management is a brokerage firm, while Variant Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company. Both companies involved in the transaction are based in the US.