Pharma Focus Asia

Genmab and CureVac Enter Strategic Partnership to Develop mRNA-based Antibody Therapeutics

Friday, December 20, 2019

Genmab A/S and CureVac AG announced today that Genmab and CureVac have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement. This strategic partnership will focus on the research and development of differentiated mRNA-based antibody products by combining CureVac’s mRNA technology and know-how with Genmab’s proprietary antibody technologies and expertise.

“As part of Genmab’s effort to fundamentally transform cancer treatment we have once again entered into a collaboration that will further provide us with the potential to lead innovation in the antibody space,” said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab. “CureVac’s unique mRNA technology, which uses the body’s own ability to produce specific proteins from nucleic acid, combined with Genmab’s world-class antibody expertise and robust proprietary technology platforms could create multiple novel options for the treatment of patients with cancer.”

“We are delighted to partner with Genmab. Through our agreement focused on mRNA encoding antibodies, we will continue to demonstrate the robustness of our mRNA technology,” said Daniel L. Menichella, Chief Executive Officer of CureVac. “We believe that the collaboration with Genmab represents the first antibody deal in the field of mRNA. It is our hope that the collaboration will be successful for patients, the two companies and their shareholders.”

Under the terms of the agreement Genmab will provide CureVac with a USD 10 million upfront payment. Genmab will also make a 20 million euro equity investment in CureVac. The companies will collaborate on research to identify an initial product candidate and CureVac will contribute a portion of the overall costs for the development of this product candidate, up to the time of an Investigational New Drug Application. Genmab would thereafter be fully responsible for the development and commercialization of the potential product, in exchange for undisclosed milestones and tiered royalties to CureVac. The agreement also includes three additional options for Genmab to obtain commercial licenses to CureVac’s mRNA technology at pre-defined terms, exercisable within a five-year period. If Genmab exercises any of these options, it would fund all research and would develop and commercialize any resulting product candidates with CureVac eligible to receive between USD 275 million and USD 368 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments for each product, dependent on the specific product concept. In addition, CureVac is eligible to receive tiered royalties in the range from mid-single digits up to low double digits per product. CureVac would retain an option to participate in development and/or commercialization of one of the potential additional programs under pre-defined terms and conditions.

Today’s news does not impact Genmab’s 2019 Financial Guidance.

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