Gilead licenses bi-specific tech from Danish biotech Genmab
- Gilead has inked a new licensing agreement with the Danish biotech Genmab, securing exclusive rights to develop a bispecific antibody targeting HIV using Genmab's DuoBody technology.
- Genmab will receive a small upfront payment of $5 million, but is eligible for up to $277 million in milestone payments for the first product developed by Gilead under the deal. Gilead also has an option for a second exclusive license on another product candidate.
- Bispecifics connect surface proteins with immune cells, aiming to bind the disease-fighting cells to targeted cells. Pharma companies such as Roche have been looking at using bispecifics as an alternative way to target tumor cells.
Since Genmab was spun off from Medarex in 1999, the Copenhagen-based company has been focused on partnering with top-brass, big name companies with deep pockets.
In 2001, Genmab initiated a discovery partnership with Roche, based on a milestone agreement between the two companies, which was later bolstered by a $20 million equity investment from Roche. Genmab's two approved antibody products, Arzerra (ofatumumab) and Darzalex (daratumumab), were developed in partnership with Novartis and Janssen, respectively, and have yielded nice pay-offs for Genmab.
The latest deal with Gilead deepens Genmab's partnership with the California biotech, expanding upon a 2014 research collaboration.
"We are pleased to add this agreement with Gilead to our growing list of commercial collaborations for our innovative DuoBody platform and we are particularly excited that the potential for DuoBody bispecific antibodies for treating HIV will be explored," said Jan van de Winkel, CEO of Genmab.