AbbVie enters $3.8bn deal with Genmab

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Metamorworks)
(Image: Getty/Metamorworks)

Related tags AbbVie Genmab Bispecific antibodies Epcoritamab

The two companies will collaborate on Genmab’s lead bispecific antibody treatment and develop further candidates.

AbbVie will pay $750m (€660m) upfront to jointly develop and commercialize three of Genmab’s bispecific antibodies that are in clinical development.

Genmab also has the potential to earn a further $3.15bn in milestone payments.

The lead prospect that AbbVie gains access to is epcoritamab, which is a bispecific antibody being explored for the treatment of various B cell malignancies.

As a result of the antibody’s ability to target CD20, which is expressed on a majority of B cell malignancies, Genmab is trailing the antibody against chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma.

Epcoritamab has already been trialed in a Phase I/II study against relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with the biotech describing the data as ‘highly encouraging’.

Also included in the deal are two other bispecific antibody programs, DuoHexaBody-CD37 and DuoBody-CD3x5T4.

Whilst the partners will also look to combine antibodies from both companies’ portfolio to select and develop up to four additional ‘antibody-based product candidates’, looking to treat solid tumors and hematological malignancies.

The deal allowed Genmab to revise its financial guidance for 2020, mainly due to the $750m upfront figure provided by AbbVie.

In the years ahead, the biotech noted that it would be in line for royalties of between 22-26% outside of the US and Japan, while the two companies would split pre-tax profits from the sale of products evenly in these two countries.

With the additional financial clout from the deal, Genmab CEO, Jan van de Winkel, stated that the biotech would ‘accelerate, broaden and maximize’ the development of its early-stage bispecific antibodies.

In the background, the biotech has also been extending its contract manufacturing to sustain the demands for further clinical work. Rentschler Biopharma recently announced​ that it would manufacture Genmab’s portfolio from its new facility in the US, as well as expanding the site for potential future demand.

For AbbVie, as well as expanding its pipeline, it is also working to integrate Allergan into its business, after the $63bn deal​ completed early last month.

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