Seagen and Lava Therapeutics have entered an exclusive licence agreement for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of the latter’s LAVA-1223 for solid tumours.

An advanced preclinical asset, LAVA-1223 is a bispecific T cell engager. 

It can act on and activate Vγ9Vδ2 (gamma delta) T cells in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing tumour cells’ presence.

The therapy uses the Gammabody technology of Lava to act on EGFR-expressing solid tumours.

Seagen interim CEO and chief medical officer Roger Dansey said: “Seagen is committed to driving innovation to improve the lives of people with cancer, and this agreement represents the company’s entry into a novel class of therapeutics that are designed to overcome the challenges of standard T cell engagers by leveraging the activity of a distinct T cell subset.

“This exclusive licence from Lava provides Seagen with the opportunity to harness its expertise in developing first-in-class targeted cancer therapies, along with the company’s global development and commercialisation capabilities.”

According to the deal, Lava will receive an upfront payment of $50m from Seagen for the exclusive worldwide licence of LAVA-1223.

Seagen also will make potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to nearly $650m, as well as royalty payments on the sales of the product in the future.

Under this deal, Seagen also holds an option for nominating up to two more tumour targets for biospecifics leveraging the Gammabody platform.

Lava Therapeutics president and CEO Stephen Hurly said: “This agreement enables Lava to further validate its platform in a second solid tumour product candidate, bringing us closer toward our goal of generating effective Gammabody medicines for cancer patients.

“We look forward to working with Seagen to develop potential next-generation cancer treatments.”

In August last year, Seagen entered an exclusive global licensing agreement with RemeGen for developing and marketing disitamab vedotin, a new HER2-targeted antibody-drug conjugate.