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Biotech Firm Develops Cancer Antibody

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted September 4, 2012

Danish biotech firm Genmab A/S (CPH: GEN) has reached a worldwide licensing and development arrangement with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) subsidiary Janssen Biotech Inc. for daratumumab (HuMax-CD38).

Daratumumab, a human CD38 monoclonal antibody with wide-ranging killing activity, is presently in Phase I/II trials in relapsed, refractory multiple myeloma. It targets the CD38 molecule, which is typically highly expressed on the surface of MM cells. It may also find application in the case of other tumors where CD38 is prominently expressed.

The agreement will see Genmab grant Janssen an exclusive global license to develop and market both daratumumab and a backup human CD38 antibody.

From the Sacramento Bee:

“Janssen was one of the first companies to recognize the power and promise of monoclonal antibodies and today is a world leader in biologics. We look forward to applying that same expertise to daratumumab to help meet the needs of patients with multiple myeloma,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., head of Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “Daratumumab is an exciting, innovative compound, and we are delighted to add it to our portfolio.”

Janssen has already made a payment, and it will continue making payments in time with specified development and other milestones. Genmab will shoulder the responsibility of successfully completing GEN501 and GEN503 Phase I/II trials, while Janssen will handle all other activities. Johnson & Johnson, linked to Janssen, will be making an equity investment in Genmab.

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson works in researching oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious disease, and cardio/metabolic diseases. The company works to develop integrated healthcare solutions alongside healthcare stakeholders.

Genmab is publicly traded, and it is a global biotechnology company which specializes in creating and developing differentiated human antibodies for cancer treatment.