Johnson & Johnson group Janssen Biotech has bought itself an exclusive, worldwide license to Alligator Bioscience’s Phase I immunotherapy ADC-1013.

ADC-1013 targets CD40, an immuno-stimulatory receptor found on antigen-presenting cells, which can spur an increase in T cells attacking a tumour.

Financial specifics of the deal were kept under wraps, but it was revealed that Janssen gets rights to develop and commercialise the fully human monoclonal antibody, in return for an upfront fee and various milestone payments to Alligator.

The Swedish biotech will complete the current Phase I dose escalation study, after which Janssen takes the reigns for all subsequent development of the drug, including research, development, manufacturing, regulatory and commercialisation activities.

Closing of the agreement, which was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, in London, remains subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.