J&J drops $1.6B blood cancer collab

June 7, 2021

Johnson & Johnson is letting go of a collaboration deal with Netherlands-based argenx SE to develop a blood cancer treatment.

The deal, which was inked in 2018, focused on the development of an investigational antibody called cusatuzumab for a range of blood cancers including acute myeloid leukemia. The match-up originally included a $300 million upfront payment along with a $200 million equity investment in a deal that could have increased in value to $1.6 billion.

But after reviewing all of the data on cusatuzumab and evaluating the current standards of care, J&J decided to hand global rights to the drug back to argenx. 

Argenx said that phase 1b trial data on the treatment supported its continued development for acute myeloid leukemia.