Genmab and Immatics Partner on Next-Generation T-Cell Bispecific Immunotherapies Program
Published: Jul 12, 2018 By Alex Keown
Denmark-based Genmab A/S struck a discovery and development deal with Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH to develop next-generation T-Cell engaging bispecific immunotherapies targeting multiple cancer indications.
Genmab will provide $54 million in upfront payments to fund the research efforts as it looks to combine Immatics’ Xpresident and Bispecific TCR technology platforms with its own antibody technologies to develop the cancer treatments. The two companies will aim their combined efforts at three proprietary targets, which were discovered and developed by Immatics’ Xpresident technology. Genmab has the option to license up to two additional targets if it wishes to expand the partnership, the companies said this morning. Genmab said the deal with Immatics will strengthen its position in immuno-oncology.
Neither company disclosed what indications they will target through the collaboration. Genmab has two approved therapies for cancers. The company has Darzalex (daratumumab) for the treatment of certain multiple myeloma indications. It also has Arzerra (ofatumumab) in its pipeline, which is used for the treatment of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia indications. Daratumumab is in clinical development for additional multiple myeloma indications, as well as other blood cancers. In May Genmab halted a Phase Ib/II trial of daratumumab in combination with Roche’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in patients with advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. That study was being conducted by Janssen as part of a licensing deal for daratumumab the two companies struck several years ago.
Genmab is also developing subcutaneous formulation of ofatumumab for relapsing multiple sclerosis, according to company data.
If the partnership proves to be successful, Immatics stands to receive up to $550 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments for each product that is generated by the deal. The Germany-based company will also be eligible for tiered royalties that result from commercialization.
Shares of Genmab, which are sold on the Copenhagen Exchange, jumped about 2 percent in trading Wednesday following the announcement.
Genmab Chief Executive Officer Jan van de Winkel said the collaboration provides the opportunity to create differentiated novel next-generation therapies through a combination of the two companies’ unique technologies and expertise.
Carsten Reinhardt, chief medical officer and managing director of Immatics, said the collaboration with Genmab “underpins Immatics’ leadership in intracellular tumor target identification and T-cell receptor engineering.”
“Our bispecific TCR technology exhibits exceptional potency and favorable pharmacokinetic properties by combining Immatics’ proprietary T-cell engaging format with our high-affinity and highly specific T-cell receptors as reported at AACR 2018,” Reinhardt added.
Under terms of the deal, Genmab will be responsible for development, manufacturing and worldwide commercialization. Immatics will have an option to contribute certain promotion efforts at predetermined levels in selected countries in the EU.