Shire has hooked into clinical-stage biopharma arGEN-X via a multi-year collaboration designed to discover a suite of new therapeutic antibodies.

The UK-based drugmaker will make a total upfront investment of 15 million euros in the firm, 3 million euros of which is in cash and the remainder in equity, in return for use of arGEN-X' human antibody discovery technologies against multiple targets.

Under the deal, Shire will pick up the tab for the collaborative research programs at arGEN-X and will pay fees, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, as well as single digit royalties on therapeutic product sales. 

The firm will also be responsible for clinical development and commercialisation of products, with arGEN-X retaining the right to license any programs not pursued by Shire into its own development pipeline.

This is the third deal Shire has signed in weeks to boost its R&D pipeline, having shelled out $260 million upfront for US group Lumena and $75 million for Australia's FibroTech in May.