Seattle Genetics, Inc. and Genmab A/S have entered into an additional antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration. Under the new agreement, Genmab will pay an upfront fee of $11 million for exclusive rights to utilize Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based ADC technology with Genmab’s HuMax®-AXL, an antibody targeting AXL which is expressed on multiple types of solid cancers. Seattle Genetics is also entitled to receive more than $200 million in potential milestone payments and mid-to-high single digit royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting products. In addition, prior to Genmab’s initiation of a Phase III study for any resulting products, Seattle Genetics has the right to exercise an option to increase the royalties to double digits in exchange for a reduction of the milestone payments owed by Genmab. Irrespective of any exercise of option, Genmab remains in full control of development and commercialization.
“This collaboration with Genmab further extends the reach of our industry-leading ADC technology for use with novel oncology targets, while providing us with a compelling financial value proposition as the program advances,” said Natasha Hernday, Vice President, Corporate Development at Seattle Genetics. “Genmab’s impressive track record in the development of antibody-based therapies for the treatment of cancer, including an ADC in a Phase I clinical trial for solid tumors utilizing Seattle Genetics technology from our first agreement, make them a strong partner for this new collaboration.”
“This new collaboration with Seattle Genetics adds another ADC program to our innovative pre-clinical pipeline of antibodies developed using the latest technological advances in cancer therapeutics. Pre-clinical work identified AXL as an excellent target for an ADC therapeutic approach,” said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab. “Accessing state-of-the art technology of companies such as Seattle Genetics who are experts in their field provides another means for Genmab to develop differentiated cancer therapeutics while retaining maximal ownership of our therapeutic products.”
Seattle Genetics and Genmab entered into an ADC collaboration for HuMax-TF-ADC in September 2010. HuMax-TF-ADC, targeting the Tissue Factor antigen, is in a Phase I trial for solid tumors. Seattle Genetics has the right to exercise a co-development option to share all future costs and profits for HuMax-TF-ADC at the end of Phase I.