Seagen Inc. (Nasdaq: SGEN), a world leader and pioneer in antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapies, and LAVA Therapeutics N.V. (Nasdaq: LVTX), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on developing its proprietary Gammabody™ platform of bispecific gamma delta T cell engagers, today announced an exclusive license agreement in which Seagen will work to develop, manufacture and commercialize LAVA-1223. LAVA-1223 is an advanced preclinical asset that utilizes LAVA’s proprietary Gammabody™ technology to target epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing solid tumors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Seagen will receive an exclusive global license for LAVA-1223 and pay LAVA $50 million upfront; up to approximately $650 million in potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones; and royalties ranging from the single digits to the mid-teens on future sales. The agreement also provides Seagen with the opportunity to exclusively negotiate rights to apply LAVA’s proprietary Gammabody™ platform on up to two additional tumor targets.
“Seagen is committed to driving innovation to improve the lives of people with cancer, and this agreement represents the company’s entry into a novel class of therapeutics that are designed to overcome the challenges of standard T cell engagers by leveraging the activity of a distinct T cell subset,” said Roger Dansey, M.D., interim CEO and Chief Medical Officer, Seagen. “This exclusive license from LAVA provides Seagen with the opportunity to harness its expertise in developing first-in-class targeted cancer therapies, along with the company’s global development and commercialization capabilities.”
LAVA-1223 employs a targeted approach that is designed to amplify natural tumor recognition by directing gamma delta T cells to the EGFR+ tumor to kill target cells and trigger immune activation while minimizing impact to normal antigen-expressing tissue. Activating the adaptive immune system with this approach has the potential to provide durable immune responses with the possibility of enhancing patient survival.
“LAVA is pioneering the development of gamma delta bispecific antibodies to treat cancer, and we are pleased to work with Seagen in this pursuit. The combination of LAVA’s proprietary Gammabody platform and deep bispecific expertise, with Seagen’s leadership in developing targeted therapies for cancer and commercialization infrastructure, makes this an ideal partnership to advance novel therapies for patients,” said Stephen Hurly, President and Chief Executive Officer of LAVA Therapeutics. “This agreement enables LAVA to further validate its platform in a second solid tumor product candidate, bringing us closer toward our goal of generating effective Gammabody medicines for cancer patients. We look forward to working with Seagen to develop potential next generation cancer treatments.”
LAVA-1223 is a potential first-in-class therapy designed specifically to target and activate Vγ9Vδ2 (gamma delta) T cells in the presence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing tumor cells. EGFR is a well-validated target that is over-expressed in multiple solid tumor types including colorectal cancer, lung cancer and head and neck cancer.
Seagen is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops and commercializes transformative cancer medicines to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Seagen is headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, and has locations in California, Canada, Switzerland and the European Union. For more information on our marketed products and robust pipeline, visit www.seagen.com and follow @SeagenGlobal on Twitter.
About LAVA Therapeutics
LAVA Therapeutics N.V. is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company utilizing its proprietary Gammabody™ platform to develop a portfolio of bispecific gamma delta T cell engagers for the potential treatment of solid and hematological malignancies. The Company utilizes bispecific antibodies engineered to selectively kill cancer cells by triggering Vγ9Vδ2 (Vgamma9 Vdelta2) T cell antitumor effector functions upon cross-linking to tumor-associated antigens. For more information, please visit www.lavatherapeutics.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
About Gilde Healthcare
Gilde Healthcare is a specialized healthcare investor with two fund strategies: Venture&Growth and Private Equity. The firm operates out of offices in Utrecht (The Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany) and Cambridge (United States). Gilde Healthcare Venture&Growth invests in fast growing, innovative companies active in (bio)pharmaceuticals, healthtech and medtech that are based in Europe and North America. For more information, please visit www.gildehealthcare.com.