Genmab A/S (OMX: GEN) and ADC Therapeutics Sarl, announced today an agreement to develop a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) product combining Genmab's HuMax-TAC antibody and ADC Therapeutics' PBD-based warhead and linker technology. The Companies have been conducting in vitro and in vivo studies since 2012 to investigate different warhead and linker combinations with HuMax-TAC, and now have the product ready for pre-IND preclinical development. The product will be developed for multiple cancer indications.
Genmab and ADC Therapeutics will each initially have an equal share in the product. In the first instance, ADC Therapeutics will lead and fund preclinical development. Prior to the submission of an application to conduct clinical studies in patients (IND filing), Genmab may elect to retain equal ownership of the product. Genmab will not incur any development costs prior to the IND filing decision and Genmab will maintain a minimum 25% ownership stake in the product as it moves into clinical development. No other financial terms were disclosed.
"We believe our unique HuMax-TAC antibody has optimal characteristics for creation of an ultra-potent antibody-drug conjugate when used in combination with ADC Therapeutics' novel PBD-based warhead and linker technology, which employs an emerging class of highly potent anticancer agents. This agreement is another example of a win-win partnership combining Genmab's state-of-the-art antibody development expertise with the latest advance in antibody-payload technology," said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.
Dr. Peter B. Corr, Chairman of ADC Therapeutics said: "We are very excited to be developing an ADC with our new partner Genmab and incorporating our next generation PBD-based toxins into this product. Our warhead payload technology enjoys exquisite potency, optimised conjugation and pharmaceutical properties that maintain activity in highly resistant cancers. Our pre-clinical data for this product indicate the potential for curative efficacy in highly resistant populations at low ADC doses of this product in several oncology indications, an area with critical unmet needs.
This agreement does not affect Genmab's 2013 financial guidance.