ImmuNext, Inc., today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., focused on the development of novel therapeutics that modulate the immune system for the treatment of cancer.
Under the terms of the agreement, ImmuNext will grant Janssen a worldwide, exclusive license to develop and commercialize therapeutics that antagonize the V-region immunoglobulin-containing suppressor of T-cell activation (VISTA) signaling pathway. VISTA is a newly identified negative checkpoint regulator.
Potential payments to ImmuNext under the agreement include an upfront payment, plus payments for reaching certain development and commercial-based milestones, which could total more than $150 million. ImmuNext is also eligible to receive royalties on sales of products and sponsored research support.
ImmuNext and Janssen will engage in a collaborative effort to carry out research and development of cancer therapeutics that antagonize the VISTA signaling pathway. Janssen will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of all products under the agreement.
“VISTA is an exciting, novel, negative checkpoint regulator that we anticipate will be a key target for enhancing immunity to solid and liquid cancers,” stated Randolph Noelle, Ph.D, ImmuNext’s chief scientific officer.
“We look forward to working with Janssen, a global leader in the field of oncology, to develop innovative immunotherapies to improve the lives of cancer patients,” commented David DeLucia, ImmuNext’s chief executive officer.
The ImmuNext technology is based on discoveries made in Dr. Noelle’s labs at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and King’s College, London.
ImmuNext was represented by transaction counsel Charles Hoyng, PhD, of Latham Watkins, intellectual property counsel Robin Teskin of Hunton Williams, business development consultant, Chris Krueger and corporate counsel MaryLiz Geffert of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton.