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arGEN-X Enters Into a Therapeutic Antibody Alliance With Shire plc


2/29/2012 8:17:31 AM

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands and GHENT, Belgium, February 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Human Antibody Product Collaboration in Rare Diseases

arGEN-X, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of human monoclonal antibodies from its proprietary SIMPLE Antibody platform, announces today that it has entered into an alliance with Shire to create novel therapeutic antibody products against multiple targets submitted by Shire.

Using its cutting edge SIMPLE Antibody discovery technology, arGEN-X will isolate and characterize human antibodies against the targets that Shire has identified and that are known to contribute to the pathophysiology of severe, rare genetic diseases. arGEN-X will also bring its state-of-the-art antibody capabilities to the collaboration for the preclinical characterization of therapeutic leads. Shire has the option to license the most promising leads for further preclinical and clinical development and commercialization worldwide.

Under the terms of the agreement, arGEN-X will receive an upfront technology access fee, research funding and preclinical success payments. In return for its option to develop and commercialize products on an exclusive basis, Shire will pay fees, milestones and royalties on product sales. Specific details of the financial terms were not disclosed.

Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of arGEN-X, said, "We are delighted to pioneer human antibodies as novel, first-in-class therapies for rare diseases with a partner of Shire's calibre. Shire's depth of experience in protein-based therapies is the perfect complement to our own discovery capabilities. We are confident that our SIMPLE Antibody platform, which consistently delivers antibodies of therapeutic quality against complex targets often intractable with other technologies, will bring significant value to this alliance. We believe this alliance represents an industry first and we are looking forward to an exciting and productive collaboration with Shire."

"As a leader in innovative therapies for rare diseases, Shire is continuing to apply new technologies to address the needs of patients," said Philip J. Vickers, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Shire Human Genetic Therapies (HGT). "Monoclonal antibody therapy is an underutilized approach to the treatment of rare diseases, and this novel platform has the potential to bring multiple drug candidates into our early-stage pipeline. Partnerships such as this one with arGEN-X are an important part of our strategy to bring new therapies to those suffering from rare diseases worldwide."

About arGEN-X - http://www.arGEN-X.com

arGEN-X is a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company that is rapidly leveraging the power of its broadly applicable, proprietary SIMPLE Antibody platform to generate fully human antibodies with differentiated qualities and outstanding therapeutic potential. The platform excels in delivering large panels of ultra-potent, functionally diverse antibodies against complex disease targets, especially cell surface receptors and highly conserved proteins. The superior choice that arGEN-X brings to antibody discovery enables it to prioritise leads with best-in-class therapeutic properties, thereby increasing the probability of development success. Antibody leads generated from the SIMPLE Antibody platform have outstanding physicochemical properties and consistent manufacturability, enabling a seamless transition from discovery into development. arGEN-X has validated its technology on multiple diverse classes of target to date and has successfully delivered in its collaboration with Eli Lilly & Co..

arGEN-X' SIMPLE Antibody platform is based on the active immunization of Camelids with target antigens to deliver antibody variable regions that are essentially identical to those of human antibodies. arGEN-X is able to generate full size, human therapeutic antibodies by combining these variable regions with human constant domains.

The SIMPLE Antibody platform is covered by broad patent claims, enjoys an independent, unencumbered patent position and is free of target gatekeeping restrictions.

arGEN-X and SIMPLE Antibody are deposited trademarks of arGEN-X BV.

SIMPLE stands for Superior Immunodiversity with Minimal Protein Lead Engineering.

Shire PLC

Shire's strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its business on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, human genetic therapies, gastrointestinal diseases and regenerative medicine as well as opportunities in other therapeutic areas to the extent they arise through acquisitions. Shire's in-licensing, merger and acquisition efforts are focused on products in specialist markets with strong intellectual property protection and global rights. Shire believes that a carefully selected and balanced portfolio of products with strategically aligned and relatively small-scale sales forces will deliver strong results.

For further information on Shire, please visit the Company's website: http://www.shire.com.

For further information, please contact:

    Citigate Dewe Rogerson                 arGEN-X
    David Dible                            Tim Van Hauwermeiren, MSc, eMBA
    Mark Swallow                           Chief Executive Officer
    Nina Enegren                           T: +31-6-122-85-257
    T: +44-207-282-2949/2948/1050          E: tim.vh@arGEN-X.com                                       
    E: david.dible@citigatedr.co.uk        
                                           Debbie Allen, Ph.D.
                                           Senior Director, Business Development
                                           T: +44-7974-979479
                                           E: dallen@arGEN-X.com    Shire - Human Genetic Therapies US     Shire Corporate
    Jessica Cotrone                        Jessica Mann
    T: +1-781-482-9538                     T: +44-1256-894280
    jcotrone@shire.com                     E: jmann@shire.com


SOURCE arGEN-X


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