AbbVie and Genmab Joining Forces to Develop Cancer Drugs

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Pharmaceutical giants AbbVie (ABBV) - Get Report and Genmab (GMAB) - Get Report are teaming up in a $4 billion bid to find a viable cancer-fighting treatment. 

The two companies on Wednesday announced the pact that will see the companies develop and commercialize a series of Genmab’s early-stage cancer treatments.

AbbVie will pay Genmab $750 million up front and an additional $3.15 billion in milestone payments to develop Genmab’s next-generation cancer-treating antibody program.

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.

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.

It also follows a recent upgrade from RBC Capital, which is optimistic about AbbVie's pending acquisition of Allergan

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