COPENHAGEN, Denmark—Genmab A/S has achieved a milestone in its DuoBody technology platform collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), triggering a $3 million milestone payment. The milestone payment is for pre-clinical progress with a DuoBody product candidate targeting cancer. Janssen has optioned 11 programs out of a total of 20 programs under the bispecific DuoBody platform collaboration with Genmab. Including the collaboration with Janssen, Genmab has five commercial partnerships for its DuoBody technology.
"Bispecific antibodies continue to be one of the most exciting new therapeutic areas in the biotech industry. Today's milestone in our DuoBody collaboration with Janssen marks the fifth program for which a clinical candidate has been selected and is another signal of the potential of the DuoBody technology platform to create products that could represent meaningful steps forward in the treatment of cancer," said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., CEO of Genmab.
Today's news will not impact Genmab's 2015 financial guidance.
Under the original July 2012 DuoBody technology collaboration with Janssen agreement, Janssen has the right to use the DuoBody technology to create panels of bispecific antibodies (up to 10 DuoBody programs) to multiple disease target combinations. Genmab received an upfront payment of $3.5 million from Janssen and will potentially be entitled to milestone and license payments of up to approximately $175 million, as well as royalties for each commercialized DuoBody product.
Under the terms of a December 2013 amendment, Janssen is entitled to work on up to ten additional programs. Genmab received an initial payment of $2 million from Janssen. For each of the ten additional programs that Janssen successfully initiates, develops and commercializes, Genmab will potentially be entitled to receive average milestone and license payments of approximately $191 million. In addition, Genmab will be entitled to royalties on sales of any commercialized products.
The DuoBody platform is an innovative platform for the discovery and development of bispecific antibodies that may improve antibody therapy of cancer, autoimmune, infectious and central nervous system disease. Bispecific antibodies bind to two different epitopes, either on the same or on different targets (also known as dual-targeting) which may improve the antibodies' specificity and efficacy in inactivating the disease targets. DuoBody molecules are unique in combining the benefits of bispecificity with the strengths of conventional antibodies which allows DuoBody molecules to be administered and dosed as other antibody therapeutics. Genmab's DuoBody platform generates bispecific antibodies via a fast and broadly applicable process which is easily performed at standard bench, as well as commercial, manufacturing scale.
Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1999, the company currently has one marketed antibody, Arzerra (ofatumumab) for the treatment of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia indications and daratumumab in clinical development for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, in addition to other clinical programs, and an innovative pre-clinical pipeline. Genmab's technology base consists of validated and proprietary next generation antibody technologies—the DuoBody platform for generation of bispecific antibodies, and the HexaBody platform which creates effector function enhanced antibodies. The company intends to leverage these technologies to create opportunities for full or co-ownership of future products. Genmab has alliances with top-tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.