Pharmaceutical giants AbbVie (ABBV) - Get Report and Genmab (GMAB) - Get Report on Wednesday announced a $4 billion pact that will see the companies develop and commercialize a series of Genmab’s early-stage cancer treatments.
In a joint statement, AbbVie said it will pay Genmab $750 million up front and an additional $3.15 billion in various milestone payments to develop Genmab’s next-generation cancer-treating antibody program.
Included in the potential milestones are up to $1.15 billion in payments related to clinical development and commercial success across three existing treatment programs, and $2 billion in option-exercise and success-based milestone payments for a fourth.
The drugs under development are epcoritamab (DuoBody-CD3xCD20), DuoHexaBody-CD37 and DuoBody-CD3x5T4. All are formulated to elicit an immune response towards malignant tumor cells. AbbVie’s ADC technology allows the delivery of a therapeutic toxin directly to cancer cells while sparing normal, healthy cells.
“Epcoritamab is a strong fit for our robust hematological oncology franchise,” AbbVie CEO Michael Severino said in the statement. “By combining the strengths of our two organizations, we can advance the treatment landscape for patients battling cancer.”
The deal is the second one for AbbVie in less than two weeks. The company last Monday said it is teaming with Beijing-based early-stage biotech company Jacobio Pharmaceuticals to target a key node in cancer and immune cells.
Shares of AbbVie were up 2.06% at $98.20 in trading on Wednesday. Genmab American Depositary Receipts were up 3.47% at $29.86.