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2022-09-26| Licensing

Seagen Strikes Potential $650 million Deal with LAVA Therapeutics for Cancer Treatment

by Max Heirich
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On September 26, Seagen announced an exclusive agreement with LAVA Therapeutics for the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of LAVA-1223, a targeted therapy for multiple kinds of cancer. Seagen will pay an initial cost of $50 million for this license, though milestones could change this to a  $650 million deal.

Related Article: Overcoming Immune Evasion in CAR-T Therapies with Groundbreaking New Discoveries

What Is The Subject Of The Deal?

LAVA-1223 is a T-cell engager for the treatment of various cancers. T-cell engagers activate exhausted T cells with long-term exposure to specific tumor antigens. As a result, the T cell specifically targets and attacks the tumor cells, eliminating only them. 

LAVA-1223 targets epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing tumor cells. EGFR is a receptor found on the surface of normal cells, involved in cell growth. However, some types of cancer have high amounts of this receptor, causing tumor cells growth and division. This overexpressed receptor is found in solid tumor types, including colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer.


This targeted approach of LAVA-1223 directs T cells to the EGFR+ tumor, killing target cells and triggering immune activation while minimizing the impact on normal antigen-expressing tissue. This preclinical asset caught Seagen’s attention, who have now entered into a deal with LAVA Therapeutics for its further development.

The Potential $650 Million Deal

Seagen paid $50 million upfront for LAVA-1223. However, the deal establishes the potential for further payments via development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Potentially, Seagen could pay up to $650 million in total for the preclinical asset. In addition, Seagen estimates that future sales could result in royalties worth from single digits to mid-teens on future sales. 

On the agreement, Roger Dansey, M.D., interim CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Seagen, said, “This exclusive license 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 commercialization capabilities.”

The $650 million deal also grants Seagen the opportunity to exclusively negotiate rights to apply LAVA’s proprietary Gammabody™ platform on up to two additional tumor targets.

Going forward, Seagen will likely initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment.

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