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Drugmakers Target B-Cell Treatments

by Michael McCoy
January 5, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 1

Johnson & Johnson and Gilead Sciences are investing in therapies that treat B-cell malignancies. J&J will invest $75 million in MacroGenics and pay the biotech firm a $50 million fee to license MGD011, a monoclonal antibody in preclinical development as a treatment for B-cell blood cancers. The antibody is designed to redirect cancer-fighting T cells to eliminate CD19-expressing cells found in many such cancers. Separately, Gilead will license Ono Pharmaceutical’s ONO-4059, a small-molecule Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor for the treatment of B-cell malignancies including chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Gilead isn’t disclosing its payments to the Japanese firm.

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