PharmaTimes talks to Jon Beauchamp, Vice President, Head of Medical Affairs at argenx and country manager, UK and Ireland

Tell us about argenx

argenx is a global immunology company developing innovative potential therapies to help improve the lives of people suffering from severe autoimmune diseases and cancer.
The company was founded in Europe in 2008 on a ground-breaking antibody engineering discovery – using the diversity of the llama immune system to build differentiated human antibodies – and a philosophy that collaboration is key to success. We have offices in the EU, US, and Japan, and over 600 employees worldwide.

Does argenx currently have any products on the market?

We are a pre-commercial stage company. Applications for our lead investigational asset, efgartigimod are under review by U.S., EU, and Japan regulatory bodies for the treatment of generalised myasthenia gravis (gMG). We expect a decision from the U.S. FDA in December 2021, Japan in the first quarter of 2022, and the EU and the UK in the second half of 2022. In addition to gMG, efgartigimod is being evaluated in 5 other autoimmune diseases known to be mediated by disease-causing IgG antibodies, including neuromuscular disorders, blood disorders, and skin blistering diseases.

Beyond efgartigimod, we continue to advance other pipeline assets through clinical development, including ARGX-117 for the treatment of multifocal motor neuropathy and 3 candidates in preclinical stages.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your ambitions at argenx

I trained as a doctor in London and practised in emergency medicine in the NHS and Australia. Since joining industry in 2005 I have been fortunate to work on innovative therapies that treat rare diseases, including in Medical Affairs and Business Unit Lead roles in the UK and Medical Affairs leadership roles with European and Global remit. I am passionate about shaping clinical research to meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals, championing medical education and making innovative medicines accessible to improve the lives of people living with debilitating diseases.

I joined argenx in 2018 and serve as Country Manager for UK and Ireland, and Vice President Head of EMEA Medical Affairs. argenx has a unique opportunity to build a sustainable and innovative immunology company, with the UK and Ireland at the heart of our research and partnering with patients, researchers and the NHS to bring new medicines to patients.

What are argenx’s current activities and future milestones in the UK?

The UK and Ireland are already important sources of talent for UK, European and Global roles at argenx, and we are growing rapidly. The UK is also a critical country for our expanding research; we have multiple early research collaborations with UK academic institutions and several late-stage trials in progress with more to follow. We are excited to be engaging with patients and health care professionals to understand their needs and look forward to working with the UK agencies to find creative and sustainable ways to bring innovative medicines to patients.

As we expand our UK and Ireland operations, we see many opportunities for collaboration, harnessing and supporting the UK’s outstanding innovation and the strong life sciences sector expertise in the country.