Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) To Invest Up To $740 Mn In Partnership With MacroGenics Inc (NASDAQ:MGNX)

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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidary Janssen has agreed on a second partnership with MacroGenics Inc (NASDAQ:MGNX) for continued cancer R&D.

In the new collaboration, Janssen will pay MacroGenics a $75 million license fee upfront and oversee future clinical development of MDG015 through completion of IND-enabling activities.

Janssen also agreed to pay up to an additional $665 million tied to achieving clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones.

The just concluded deal gives MacroGenics the option of funding a portion of late-stage clinical development in exchange for a profit sharing exchange in Canada and the U.S. Upon commercialization of MDG015, MacroGenics will be eligible to receive double-digit royalties on any global net sale. It also has the option of co-promoting MDGO15 with Janssen in the U.S.

The first partnership between Janssen and MacroGenics was established about 17 months ago. It concerned MacroGenics’s approach to stirring a T-cell attack against cancer.

With the current partnership, Janssen is seeking to scoop up global rights to MDG015-, which is a bispecific molecule that can target both CD3 and an undisclosed target, making it useful in fighting against hematological cancer and solid tumors. Analysts have claimed that MacroGenics’s bispecific tech makes it a simpler alternative to personalized CAR-T tech.

MGD015 is a bispecific molecule that has been developed through MacroGenics proprietary Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting platform. MGD015 has been designed to work by redirecting T-cells through the CD3 component with the purpose of eliminating cells that overexpress a certain antigen in various solid tumors and blood cancers. MacroGenics has noted that MGD015 can kill these targeted cells both in vivo and in vitro with high response in several mouse tumor xenograft models.

The new collaboration might help J&J leapfrog some of the closely watched programs in the industry. For MacroGenics, this deal offers a continued chance to increase its financial reserve during a time of growth.

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