Genmab, the Danish company developing the DuoBody technology platform to create and develop bispecific antibody candidates, just signed another licensing agreement with a Big Pharma company. This time, Novo Nordisk has been caught in a potential $502 million (€453m) deal.
The DuoBody technology involves three basic steps to generate stable bispecific human IgG1 antibodies. In the first step, two IgG1s, each containing single matched mutations in the third constant (CH3) domain, are produced separately using standard mammalian recombinant cell lines (step 1 on the following figure). Subsequently, these IgG1 antibodies are purified according to standard processes (step 2) and then recombined in a bispecific antibody product with a very high yield (typically >95%) (step 3).
To date, Genmab has licensed the DuoBody technology to 7 companies including Novartis, Janssen, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Eli Lilly, Cormorant, Agenus and an undisclosed major biotech.
Novartis licensed the DuoBody technology with options to commercialize two bispecific programs in a deal signed in June 2012 that included an upfront payment of $2 million (€1,8m) with a total potential deal value of $175 million (€158m) plus research funding and royalties.