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Janssen returns rights for experimental cancer immunotherapy to Alligator Bioscience, sending shares spiraling by 40%

Published on 01/08/19 at 12:53pm

Janssen has decided to hand back the rights to an experimental CD40 agonistic antibody to Alligator Bioscience as it reassesses its research priorities, sending the latter’s shares tumbling by 40%.

ADC-1013, as the candidate is known, is currently in development at Phase 1 in the treatment of metastatic cancer. It was originally handed over to Janssen as part of a 2015 agreement which featured an upfront payment of $35 million and milestone payments of up to $695 million in addition to tiered sales royalties. Alligator Bio confirmed it had received the upfront payment as well as $11 million in milestone payments throughout the partnership.

“Our ambition with ADC-1013 was to create a CD40 antibody that stimulates the immune system without causing adverse systemic side effects. The current data package suggests we have been successful,” commented Per Norlén, CEO of Alligator Bio. “Observed side effects are generally mild, and the early signs of clinical benefit strengthen our confidence that, in ADC-1013, we have a CD40 immunotherapy with a highly competitive profile. Considering recent development in the CD40 field we are certainly optimistic about the future of this compound.

“We are very pleased with the progress our partnership with Janssen has made in the development of ADC-1013 but understand their need to prioritise research programmes,” he continued. “Our priority now is to rapidly advance its development for the benefit of patients in need of new treatment options. We intend to initiate Phase II combinations studies and will make all necessary preparations for a swift start. In parallel we will advance partnering discussions to secure a future collaboration for the continued development of ADC-1013.”

Matt Fellows

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