Argenx Regains Global Rights from Johnson & Johnson to Blood Cancer Candidate Cusatuzumab

  • Johnson & Johnson JNJ has walked away from a $1.6 billion blood cancer candidate deal with Argenx SE ARGX for the CD70-targeting cusatuzumab.
  • The pair first came together to develop the med across various blood cancers and disorders in December 2018.
  • J&J said in a brief statement, "The decision is based upon Janssen's review of all available cusatuzumab data and in consideration of the evolving standard of care for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Final results from Janssen's clinical studies of cusatuzumab will be presented in the future."
  • Janssen added that it would "work with Argenx to transition the cusatuzumab program" back to the company.
  • In a separate release, Argenx said that it has interim data from the phase 1b ELEVATE trial, which it said: "support continued development in acute myeloid leukemia, and Argenx plans to evaluate options to enable a path forward."
  • The Phase 1b trial is evaluating cusatuzumab in combination with AbbVie Inc ABBVRoche Holdings AG's RHHBY Venclexta (venetoclax) and chemo drug Vidaza (azacitidine) in newly-diagnosed, elderly patients with AML.
  • The intent-to-treat population included 42 evaluable patients with early efficacy showing complete remission (CR) in 48% (20/42).
  • Composite complete remission, including CRs with incomplete hematologic recovery, was observed in 81% (34/42).
  • The overall response rate is 93% (39/42).
  • The trial is still ongoing, and Argenx said that complete results would be "presented in an upcoming peer-reviewed forum."
  • Price Action: ARGX shares are down 4.15% at $258.72 in the premarket session on the last check Monday.
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Posted In: BiotechEarningsNewsHealth CareContractsGeneralacute myeloid leuxemiaBriefs