31.08.2012 - In a deal worth up to US$1.1bn Janssen Biotech Inc has licensed the human monoclonal antibody daratumumab from Danish Genmab A/S.
Janssen will pay US$55m up front to gain an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialise the patented fully human monoclonal antibody daratumumab and a backup CD38 antibody. On top of that, its parent Johnson & Johnson will invest additional US$80m in the Danish firm. After the issue of the new shares, the Horsham-based US company will own 10.7% of Genmab's share capital, the company said. The total potential agreement value including upfront payment, equity investment and milestones is in excess of US$1.1bn. Genmab could also be entitled to tiered double digit royalties.
The human monoclonal antibody daratumumab targets the CD38 molecule which is highly expressed on the surface of multiple myeloma cells. The monoclonal antibody is currently in development for the rare cancer multiple myeloma and may have potential in other cancer indications such as acute myeloid leukemia.
“Much had been anticipated from a licensing deal for daratumumab and we believe this deal has more than met the expectation,” Nomura Code analyst Samir Devani said in a note to investors. The deal led Genmab cut its full-year operating loss forecast between US$24m and US$32m (DKK140m to DKK190m) from US$34m to US$42m (DKK200m to DKK250m) and to raise its guidance for 2012 revenue to US$73m to US$78m (DKK435m to DKK460m) from US$63m to US$67m (DKK375m to DKK400m).
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