Tim Van Hauwermeiren and Samantha Du

EX­CLU­SIVE: Zai Lab’s Saman­tha Du scoops up Chi­na rights to an au­toim­mune drug with a hefty $175M li­cens­ing deal — heav­i­ly front­ed with cash and stock

Ar­genx $ARGX has just scored a ma­jor li­cens­ing pact with Saman­tha Du’s Zai Lab, and it in­cludes some of the largest num­bers in cash and near-term mile­stones we’ve seen in the sec­tor.

Du’s com­pa­ny has land­ed the re­gion­al rights to the biotech’s promis­ing au­toim­mune drug ef­gar­tigi­mod in a pact cov­er­ing Chi­na, Tai­wan, Hong Kong and Macau. In ex­change, ar­genx CEO Tim Van Hauw­er­meiren is get­ting a $75 mil­lion up­front in Zai Lab stock, an­oth­er $75 mil­lion as a guar­an­tee from Zai Lab for their cost-shar­ing arrange­ment, and an­oth­er $25 mil­lion mile­stone tied to US ap­proval of the late-stage drug.

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