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AbbVie and Genmab link for oncology collaboration

AbbVie and Genmab have signed a pact to jointly develop and commercialise three of the latter’s early-stage investigational bispecific antibody product candidates, as well as a discovery research collaboration for future differentiated antibody therapeutics for cancer.

The companies will develop Genmab’s next-generation bispecific antibody programmes epcoritamab (DuoBody-CD3xCD20), DuoHexaBody-CD37 and DuoBody-CD3x5T4.

The discovery research collaboration will combine proprietary antibodies from both companies along with Genmab’s DuoBody technology and AbbVie’s payload and ADC technology to select and develop up to four additional differentiated next-generation antibody-based product candidates, potentially across both solid tumours and blood malignancies.

Genmab’s DuoBody-CD3 technology engages and directs cytotoxic T cells selectively to tumours to elicit an immune response towards malignant tumour cells, while AbbVie’s ADC technology allows the delivery of a therapeutic toxin directly to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells, ‘providing for a more targeted, less toxic treatment approach’.

Under the terms of the deal, AbbVie will pay Genmab $750 million upfront, and potentially up to $3.15 billion in additional development, regulatory and sales milestone payments for all programmes as well as tiered royalties between 22% and 26% on net sales for epcoritamab outside the US and Japan.

Except for these royalty-bearing sales, the parties will share pre-tax profits from the sale of products on a 50:50 basis.

“This transformative collaboration will allow us to accelerate, broaden and maximise the development of some of our promising early-stage bispecific antibodies, including epcoritamab, with the ultimate goal of bringing these potential therapies much faster to cancer patients,” said Jan van de Winkel, Genmab’s chief executive.

“Epcoritamab is a strong fit for our robust hematological oncology franchise”, said Michael Severino, vice chairman and president, AbbVie. “By combining the strengths of our two organisations, we can advance the treatment landscape for patients battling cancer.”