Danish biotechnology company Genmab has granted US headquartered Gilead Sciences an exclusive licence and an option on a second exclusive licence, to use its DuoBody technology to create and develop bispecific antibody candidates for an HIV treatment.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genmab will receive an upfront payment of $5 million from Gilead Sciences.
The Danish firm is also entitled to potential development, regulatory and sales milestones of up to $277m for the first product and further milestones for subsequent products.
In addition, Genmab will be entitled to single-digit royalties on Gilead’s sales of any commercialised products.
Similar terms would apply if Gilead exercises the option to the second licence.
This agreement follows a research partnership between the two firms for the DuoBody technology signed in 2014.
The DuoBody technology is used in the discovery and development of bispecific antibodies that may improve antibody therapy of cancer, autoimmune, infectious and central nervous system disease.
Bispecific antibodies bind to two different epitopes either on the same, or on different targets (also known as dual-targeting), which may improve the antibodies' effectiveness in inactivating the disease targets.
DuoBody molecules combine the benefits of bispecificity with the strengths of conventional antibodies, which allows DuoBody molecules to be administered and dosed as other antibody therapeutics.
Genmab said its DuoBody platform generates bispecific antibodies through a fast and broadly applicable process, which is easily performed at standard bench and at commercial, manufacturing scale.