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Argos Therapeutics and Novo Nordisk Announce Agreement to Develop Treatment for Systemic Autoimmune Disorders
Durham, NC and Copenhagen, Denmark — March 14, 2006 — Immunotherapy pioneer Argos Therapeutics and global healthcare leader Novo Nordisk, announced today they have entered into an agreement under which Argos has licensed to Novo Nordisk antibody technology for research and development of a treatment for systemic immune disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Under the terms of the agreement, Argos will receive up to $69 million comprised of up front and milestone payments, in addition to royalties on potential future sales of products.
“This is a confirmation of our ability to identify and develop novel immunotherapeutics,” said Jeff Abbey, vice president of business development for Argos Therapeutics. “The relationship with Novo Nordisk will enable us to accelerate the clinical development of one of our pipeline technologies. In addition, Argos maintains its focus on a number of immunotherapies in areas such as cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders and transplantation.”
In collaboration with researchers at the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research and with a grant from the Alliance for Lupus Research, Argos has identified specific monoclonal antibodies that target a molecule, which plays a critical role in the onset and maintenance of systemic autoimmune disorders.
The agreement with Argos represents an addition to Novo Nordisk´s growing portfolio of biopharmaceutical projects within cancer and inflammation. Commenting on the agreement, Terje Kalland, senior vice president, head of Biopharmaceuticals Research Unit, Novo Nordisk said, “Our strategy is to serve patients with a high unmet medical need by leveraging our core capabilities within protein therapeutics and inflammation through partnerships with leading biotech companies and research institutions. Argos’ project has an excellent fit with those strategic objectives, and we are excited about the potential of this new project in our portfolio.”
“Argos continues to build on its strong track record of forging strategic corporate and academic partnerships to develop products that may one day change the way many diseases are treated,” said Michel Gréco, former deputy CEO and member of the Board of Aventis Pasteur and current member of the Board of Argos.
Commonly called lupus, systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body´s own tissues and organs, including joints, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain. Lupus, particularly in children, can be an aggressive disease and treatment options with fewer side effects are urgently needed.
This disease, for which there currently is no cure, affects as many as 1.5 million Americans, according to The Lupus Foundation of America. In the United States, no new drugs have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of lupus in more than 40 years and current drug therapies, such as corticosteroids, have significant side effects and other drawbacks.
About Argos Therapeutics, Inc.
Argos Therapeutics, Inc., is dedicated to becoming a market leader in the field of immunotherapy. The company uses proprietary technology and know-how to develop dendritic cell-based therapies in the areas of oncology, infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders and transplantation. Argos´ focus is bringing to market therapeutic options that not only offer new promise for treatment of intractable diseases, but also an improved safety profile and better patient quality of life during treatment.
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk has more than 22,000 employees in 79 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk´s B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘NVO’. For more information visit novonordisk.com
For further information, please contact:
Argos Therapeutics Inc
Bradd Pavur, APR
Gibbs & Soell, Inc.
Novo Nordisk A/S
Elin K Hansen
Tel: (+45 44 42 34 50)
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