The USA’s Amgen and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo have teamed up to develop and commercialise one of the Japanese drugmaker’s monoclonal antibodies.

Under the terms of the deal, Amgen will make an upfront payment of $100 million and Kyowa Hakko could receive up to $420 million from development, approval and sales milestones. The Tokyo-based firm will also be entitled to get double-digit royalties on sales.

The drug in question is Kyowa Hakko's humanised monoclonal antibody KW-0761 and Amgen gets a worldwide licence for the treatment, except in Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. It is currently being studied in inflammation and oncology settings and Kyowa Hakko has completed Phase I studies of KW-0761 in healthy volunteers and allergic rhinitis patients. It is currently conducting Phase I trials of the treatment in lymphoma patients.

Amgen added that its financial guidance for 2008 will remain unchanged by this transaction.