Gowling WLG’s Life Sciences team has advised argenx on its collaboration with global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie to develop ARGX-115, a potential treatment for cancer.

Patrick Duxbury, head of life sciences, worked with associate Elwin Morgan on the collaboration agreement. Patrick worked closely with senior VP of business development at argenx, Dr Debbie Allen and with CEO Tim van Hauwermeiren.

Belgium-based biotech company argenx focuses on creating and developing therapeutic antibodies to treat cancer and severe autoimmune diseases. ARGX-115 is argenx’s preclinical-stage human antibody which has the potential to block certain immune-suppressive pathways that allow cancers to grow.

Tim van Hauwermeiren, Chief Executive Officer of argenx said:  “We believe ARGX-115 has the potential to advance immuno-oncology by selectively targeting tumor immune escape pathways. We are proud to develop and commercialize ARGX-115 through collaboration with AbbVie, a global leader in oncology and are grateful for the expertise of Gowling WLG in enabling this transaction.”

Patrick Duxbury added: “We’ve acted on many deals for argenx over the last six years and we’re pleased to have been involved in this one, a highly strategic collaboration which could represent a significant  step forward both for argenx and in the development of novel cancer treatments.”

Under the terms of the agreement, argenx will receive an upfront payment of $40m from AbbVie for the exclusive option to license ARGX-115 and near-term preclinical milestones of $20m.

argenx is also eligible to receive additional development, regulatory and commercial payments up to $625 million upon achievement of pre-determined milestones as well as tiered, up to double-digit royalties on net sales upon commercialisation.