2020 promises to be a busy year for Argenx. The company looks set to fulfill its aspiration to become a global and integrated immunology company in 2021. On the financial side, its liquid assets reached $1.5 billion.
At the dawn of 2020, the biotech company Argenx provided its strategic outlook for the year outlining the key priorities of its broad portfolio and the path forward to achieve its integrated business vision “Argenx 2021.”
Argenx creates drugs with the potential to be either first-in-class targets against novel aims or best-in-class targets against proven but nuanced targets to treat diseases with severe unmet medical needs. This is made possible by the advanced development collection, based on the strong llama immune system.
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Entering 2020 with positive results
“We enter 2020 in an exciting position, having achieved all our targets for our clinical programs,” said Tim Van Hauwermeiren, CEO of Argenx. In addition, the biotech boss announced positive proof of concept data for efgartigimod in pemphigus, the third “bridgehead” indication, “demonstrating our initial development strategy of targeting pathogenic autoantibodies and creating commercial opportunities in several therapeutic areas.”
More importantly, according to the CEO, the biotech company is pursuing its “Argenx 2021” vision of becoming a global, integrated immunology company with the expected launch in 2021 of efgartigimod for the treatment of myasthenia gravis.
Five clinical trials
Argenx expects to announce five indications for efgartigimod in 2020 while, at the same time, five clinical trials with efgartigimod will take place this year for four different conditions.
Efgartigimod is designed to treat patients with severe autoimmune diseases associated with high levels of pathogenic immunoglobulin G, or IgG. It is designed to reduce autoimmune antibodies and is currently being tested on myasthenia gravis (MG), immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and skin blistering diseases. The company believes that the drug might have wider pharmaceutical potential.
The company will also focus on expanding the global development plan for cusatuzumab with Janssen. Cusatuzumab (ARGX-110) is designed to treat several varieties of solid severe autoimmune diseases. The drug blocks CD70 and kills cancer cells that express CD70. It also allows the body to better combat solid tumors by boosting immune surveillance.
To carry out this strategy successfully, the biotech company can count on a “solid” cash position of approximately $1.5 billion at the end of 2019 thanks, in particular, to a share offering carried out in November.
Finally, Argenx points out that its CEO will make a presentation on January 14 at the 38th annual “Healthcare” conference organized by JP Morgan in San Francisco.
A strong year ahead for Biotech companies
Biotech companies like Argenx are expected to perform strongly over the course of 2020. Rising demand for innovative cancer treatments and alternatives to opioid based painkillers are expected to be two key drivers of growth for the sector.
The rise of long term illnesses, particularly those associated with age, in developing countries will also play a factor. In this background there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome which represents a unique opportunity for Biotech companies in general.
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First published in L’Echo, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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