This week, Genmab announced a global license agreement and collaboration with AbbVie regarding a group of drug candidates in Gemab’s pipeline that are currently in clinical development and around future treatments in a drug discovery program. As part of the agreement, AbbVie will pay Genmab a USD 750 million upfront payment and milestone payments of up to USD 3.15 billion upon reaching development and commercial goals. In addition, Genmab and AbbVie will split the future commercial revenues in half in the US and Japan, while AbbVie will pay between 22% and 26% royalties on sales in all other geographies.
Genmab, the Danish biotech company and part of the Arctic Aurora LifeScience fund portfolio, has seen its market value more than triple during the past five years to nearly USD 20 billion. The rise is much thanks to the company´s blockbuster drug Darzalex which is marketed by Johnson & Johnson for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
Now Genmab has entered the race in developing so called bispecific antibodies together with, among others, large biotech companies like Regeneron and Amgen to treat cancers. Bispecific antibodies are protein-based drugs that have the ability to attach to two molecular drug targets simultaneously. This can be utilized to pull immune cells towards cancer cells to effectively kill the cancer cells. Genmab disclosed early-stage clinical data in lymphoma with one such bispecfic antibody drug candidate called epcoritamab at a large scientific cancer meeting at end of May. Epcoritamab showed promising data, including high response rates in heavily pretreated advanced-stage patients and the drug candidate is now part of the agreement with AbbVie as the companies will move development further into larger clinical trial.