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12:00 AM
 | 
Sep 10, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Genmab's Game-Changer

How J&J deal could be game-changing for Genmab's antibody turnaround

Genmab A/S's deal with Johnson & Johnson for daratumumab is another sign the Danish biotech is making good on a two-year-old pledge to increase partnering and focus on new antibody technologies. The deal also gives Genmab the financial runway it needs to reach Phase III data readouts that could significantly expand the label for its one marketed drug, Arzerra ofatumumab.

In September 2010, under the leadership of then new President and CEO Jan van de Winkel, the biotech pared back its commercial and clinical development ambitions. Genmab had been seeking to establish its own sales force and was taking internal programs into late-stage development alone.

The new Genmab went into cash conservation mode, looking to increase partnerships both for its molecules and antibody platform while also gaining access to new antibody technologies that could generate further deal-making opportunities (see BioCentury, Nov. 8, 2010).

Since the strategic shift, Genmab has completed seven partnerships for either its technologies or molecules.

Of those seven, van de Winkel said the Aug. 30 daratumumab deal with J&J may be the most significant yet.

Genmab granted J&J's Janssen Biotech Inc. unit exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the human mAb against CD38, which is in Phase I/II testing for multiple myeloma (MM).

The biotech received DKK327 million ($55 million) up front. J&J also will buy 5.4 million new shares at DKK88, which gives it a 10.7% stake.

Genmab is eligible...

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