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J&J, Genscript to jointly develop CAR-T cell therapy

Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Biotech Inc. agreed to collaborate with units of China-based Genscript Biotech Corp. to develop a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, or CAR-T cell, drug candidate.

CAR-T cell therapies work by manipulating a patient's own disease-fighting T-cells and then infusing them back into the body to fight blood cancers.

LCAR-B38M specifically targets the B-cell maturation antigen. The drug candidate is the first CAR-T therapy accepted for review by the China Food and Drug Administration and in the planning phase of clinical studies in the U.S. for multiple myeloma.

Legend Biotech USA Inc. and Legend Biotech Ireland Ltd. will grant Janssen a worldwide license to jointly develop and commercialize the drug candidate in multiple myeloma for an upfront payment of $350 million, to be recorded in the fourth quarter, and additional payments based upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones.

Under the collaboration and license agreement, the companies will share the cost and split the profit on a 50/50 basis, except in Greater China, where Janssen and the Genscript units have a 30/70 cost-sharing/profit-split arrangement. Janssen will record worldwide net trade sales, except for sales made in Greater China.

Johnson & Johnson reaffirmed its adjusted EPS guidance for full-year 2017 of $7.25 to $7.30.