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Astellas and Regeneron extend deal

Astellas has agreed to pay Regeneron $295m to extend its non-exclusive licence of the company's VelocImmune drug-discovery technology to 2023

Astellas has agreed to pay Regeneron $295m to extend its non-exclusive licence of the company's VelocImmune drug-discovery technology through the year 2023.

The licence allows Astellas to make use of VelocImmune technology in its internal research programs to discover fully human monoclonal antibody product candidates. The deal calls for a $165m upfront payment, with another $130m due in June 2018. Astellas will also pay a mid-single-digit royalty on product sales of any marketed therapies developed using the technology.

The companies forged their original six-year licensing deal in early 2007. That deal, which is overturned by the new agreement, called for Astellas to make licensing payments of $20m per year during 2007 to 2010.

Although no Astellas products making use of the technology have yet been approved, about 20 monoclonal antibody projects using VelocImmune are ongoing at the company. Astellas said that the extension of the deal is part of its recently announced mid-term management plan toward the financial year 2014, which calls for the company to put "the highest strategic priority on the development of antibody drugs."

The VelocImmune technology generates fully human monoclonal antibodies (hMAbs) to address clinically relevant targets.

28th July 2010

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