AbbVie in Genmab Cancer Pact That Could Be Worth Over $3 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- AbbVie Inc. and Genmab A/S embarked on a broad cancer research and development pact that may bring the Danish biotechnology company payments of more than $3 billion.

The two companies will work together to develop three experimental antibodies that emerged from Genmab’s labs and enter into a research collaboration for other antibodies to fight cancer. Genmab shares rose as much as 6.3% in Copenhagen trading after the announcement.

AbbVie makes a blockbuster drug for blood cancers, called Imbruvica, but it has faced research setbacks in the field, one of the hottest areas for the pharma industry. The deal gives it access to several experimental antibodies, which help the immune system defend itself.

North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie agreed to pay Genmab $750 million upfront and said its smaller partner could get as much as $3.15 billion in milestones, if the medicines under development reach certain development, regulatory and sales goals, as well as royalties.

The Genmab products that are part of the partnership are epcoritamab, a medicine in clinical tests for blood cancers, and two others known as DuoHexaBody-CD37 and DuoBody-CD3x5T4. The discovery research collaboration will combine antibodies from both companies and pick as many as four products that could work for tumors or blood cancers.

“By combining the strengths of our two organizations, we can advance the treatment landscape for patients battling cancer,” Michael Severino, AbbVie’s vice chairman, said in a statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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