Genmab bolsters ADC portfolio through $1.8bn ProfoundBio buy

Genmab will acquire antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform developer ProfoundBio in an all-cash transaction.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

April 4, 2024

2 Min Read

The acquisition aims to strengthen Genmab’s mid- to late-stage clinical pipeline. Through this addition, the Danish drugmaker will gain worldwide rights to three candidates, which are in clinical development. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024.

“The proposed acquisition of ProfoundBio firmly aligns with our long-term strategy and our ambitious 2030 vision, to impact the lives of patients through innovative antibody medicines,” said Jan van de Winkel, CEO of Genmab.

“We believe that ProfoundBio’s ADC candidates, proprietary technology platforms and talented team will be a great addition to Genmab and that, together, we will be able to accelerate the development of innovative, differentiated antibody therapies for cancer patients.”

This agreement will buttress Genmab’s position in the gynecologic oncology space and establish a firm foundation in solid tumors, through ProfoundBio’s lead candidate Rina-S (rinatabart sesutecan) – a Phase II Topo1 ADC targeting folate receptor alpha (FRα) to treat ovarian cancer and other solid tumors. Furthermore, Genmab will also add ProfoundBio’s ADC technology platforms to potentially generate and develop new treatments for cancer.

In January 2024, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to Rina-S.

“Genmab shares our team’s mission of developing novel therapies to improve outcomes for cancer patients. Genmab’s deep expertise in antibody drug development and commercialization makes this a compelling union that will allow us to rapidly develop and realize the full potential of our ADC therapies to benefit patients,” said Baiteng Zhao, chairman of the board at ProfoundBio.

For the full year 2023, Genmab reported net profit of DKK 4 billion ($582 million) compared to DKK 5 billion ($728 million) in 2022, while the year-on-year revenue saw a slight increase standing at DKK 16 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2023 against DKK 14 billion ($2.03) billion) previously.

This acquisition adds to the latest example of Big Pharma’s aggressive M&A strategy within the ADC space. Eli Lilly agreed to buy preclinical ADC firm Mablink Bioscience in October 2023. While in December 2023, Pfizer added four approved therapies and a pipeline of ADCs through the completion of its acquisition of Seagen for $43bn.

This was followed by AbbVie adding the commercial ovarian cancer drug Elahere through the acquisition of ImmunoGen for $10.1 billion in the same month. Recently, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) bought Ambrx in an all-cash transaction worth $2 billion adding treatments for prostate cancer.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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