Johnson & Johnson enters more than $800-million lung cancer drug deal with Aduro BioTech

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Biotech unit entered an agreement with Aduro BioTech potentially worth more than $800 million for lung cancer immunotherapies, the biotechnology company announced Thursday. The agreement expands an existing collaboration initiated by the companies in May.

Under the deal, Janssen Biotech gains an exclusive, global license to certain product candidates engineered for the treatment of lung cancer and certain other cancers based on Aduro's LADD immunotherapy platform. Janssen Biotech will be responsible for all R&D, manufacturing, regulatory and commercial activities.

As part of the agreement, Aduro will receive a $30 million up-front payment and is eligible to receive milestone payments up to a potential total of $817 million, as well as high single-digit to double-digit tiered royalties on worldwide net sales. Specifically, Aduro is eligible for payments if the investigational lung cancer product ADU-214 achieves certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Aduro commented that its LADD platform is based on "live-attenuated double-deleted Listeria monocytogenes strains that have been engineered to induce a potent innate immune response and to express tumour-associated antigens to induce tumour-specific T cell-mediated immunity. In July, the company received breakthrough therapy designation for its prostate cancer combination treatment consisting of CRS-207, which was developed using the LADD platform, and the GVAX vaccine.

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