Dutch antibody experts forge rare disease discovery pact with Shire

The Dutch biotech arGEN-X has signed up Shire ($SHPGY) to its latest partnership on antibodies. In the deal, arGEN-X will use its antibody platform to hunt down new program candidates for Shire's rare genetic disease targets. Shire is paying out an undisclosed upfront and promised milestones to seal the discovery deal.

"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," says arGEN-X CEO Tim Van Hauwermeiren. "We believe this alliance represents an industry first and we are looking forward to an exciting and productive collaboration with Shire."

Just a year ago, arGEN-X struck a similar deal with Eli Lilly ($LLY).

"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," noted Shire R&D chief Philip J. Vickers.

- here's the press release