Novo Nordisk Licenses Genmab's Bispecific Antibody Platform

August 14, 2015
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Licenses could potentially bring antibody R&D to areas beyond oncology, such as diabetes treatments.

Genmab A/S has granted Novo Nordisk two licenses for its DuoBody technology, in a move that would bring antibody therapy R&D beyond the realm of cancer treatments. The license would allow Novo Nordisk to use the technology to develop treatments for illnesses targeted by its drug pipeline, such as diabetes. Antibody treatments currently focus on cancer therapies.

After a period of exclusivity, Novo Nordisk can choose to maintain exclusivity or continue to use the licenses on a non-exclusive basis. Financial aspects of the deal involve an initial $2-million payment to Genmab. The company will also receive $250 million for each exclusive license, or $200 million for each non-exclusive license in the future, as well as single-digit royalties based on sales of any therapies that are commercialized.

Genmab’s DuoBody platform allows for the discovery and development of bispecific antibodies, which bind to two different sites on the same, or different, targets. When they bind to different targets (in "dual targeting"), studies suggest that they may improve overall binding specificity and efficacy. Bispecific antibodies may thus improve therapies for cancer, autoimmune, infectious, and central nervous system diseases. Genmab’s executives claim that its DuoBody platform uses a process that can easily be run at bench as well as at commercial manufacturing scale. Genmab is also working with J&J and GSK on various technology licensing and R&D deals.