Genmab and Jacobi Pharmaceutical join forces with AbbVie
… AbbVie expands its oncology business through two new strategic partnerships …

ABBVIE’S TWO NEW ONCOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS

Genmab and Jacobio Pharmaceuticals Join Forces With AbbVie

John G. Baresky

AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) is wasting no time in making the most out of 2020. Following the FDA approval of their Women’s Healthcare breakthrough drug therapy for uterine fibroids, Oriahnn (elagolix, estradiol and norethindrone acetate capsules; elagolix capsules), and completion of their $63 billion acquisition of Allergan, AbbVie has immediately followed through by signing deals with Genmab (NASDAQ: GMAB) and Jacobio Pharmaceuticals.

Headquartered in Beijing, China with U.S. offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Jacobi Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2015. Their financial backers include Eli Lilly Asia Fund, Gao Leng, Qiming Venture Fund and Taiwan Yusheng.

Its base of research and development is aligned with allosteric inhibitor technology for protein phosphatase, KRAS and other transcription factors. AbbVie and Jacobio will partner on the development and commercialization of SHP2 inhibitors. The science involved focuses on targeting specific nodes in cancer and immune cells.

SHP2 is a protein mediator of cellular signaling through RAS/MAP kinase passages. Tumors with genetic mutations cultivating abnormal cancer cell growth require SHP2 and cytokine production activity. For the Jacobio therapies featured in the agreement, the pharmacologic therapy strategy centers on the inhibition of SHP2 that may cut cancer cell reproduction and generate an anti-tumor immune response.

Jacboio’s two small-molecule SHP2 early-stage pipeline candidates are:

AbbVie will have an exclusive license to these two molecules and Jacobio will orchestrate the ongoing clinical trials of each that AbbVie will fund. AbbVie will have global commercialization and marketing rights to the products if they suitably progress and complete regulatory approval processes. Their agreement also features an option for Jacobio to develop and market the SHP2 candidates in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau on their own.

Founded in 1998, Copenhagen, Denmark based Genmab and AbbVie have forged an agreement with a potential value of $4 billion. It is focused on developing and fully commercializing a selection of early-stage oncology therapies in Genmab’s pipeline. With a U.S. headquarters and research facility in Plainsboro, New Jersey, Genmab’s 2019 annual sales were over $500 million.

AbbVie is committing $750 million to help fund Genmab’s oncology antibody initiatives and will provide up to $3.15 billion depending on the progress towards specific development goals along the way. There are three pipeline candidates featured in the agreement:

  • DuoBody (CD3x5T4)
  • DuoHexaBody (CD37)
  • Pcoritamab (DuoBody-CD3xCD20)

The three drugs are immune response therapies. By deploying AbbVie’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology within their formulations, the therapies will bypass healthy cells on their way to delivering therapeutic toxins to cancer cells that disable them.

Genmab and Jacobio each have numerous options to choose from when it comes to strategic partnerships with global biotherapy and pharmaceutical companies. AbbVie has unique attributes as it can provide companies like Genmab and Jacobio funding as well as research & development and commercial guidance.

As promising new compounds progress through Phase I, Phase II, Phase III development and approval submission stages, AbbVie has the clinical and business insights to propel them forward with U.S. and other government regulatory authorities.

Once new products from Genmab and Jacboio are approved, AbbVie has premium brand management, sales and market access strategy assets and experience to launch them not only in the United States but also in other established and emerging global markets. These are pivotal requirements for successful product launch and sales execution.

On a global basis, AbbVie has the contracting savvy and payer relationships with managed care organizations (MCOs), health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), specialty pharmacies, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), health systems, wholesalers, distributors and government entities required for Genmab and Jacobio product success.

AbbVie has always been a healthcare and pharmaceutical industry innovator since it was formed in 2013. Its roots go back to the legacy Abbott Laboratories organization and its legendary pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device merger & acquisition strategist and corporate leader Miles White.

As Abbott Laboratories CEO and Chairman of the Board, White led the charge to acquire Knoll Pharmaceuticals that brought the best selling brand pharmaceutical product of all time, Humira (adalimumab), into their portfolio while also executing numerous other large and small scale mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

Mile White was responsible for the very creation of AbbVie through dividing the original Abbott Laboratories into two different companies, AbbVie and Abbott. AbbVie is highly motivated to transform its enterprise through exponential growth to pay down its debt from acquiring Allergan and replace revenues from its multi-billion-dollar blockbuster immunotherapy Humira as it approaches the end of its patent protection in 2023.

Based in North Chicago, Illinois, AbbVie generated over $33.5 billion in annual sales during 2019. Following its ongoing success with new product introductions, strategic partnerships like those with Genmab and Jacobio plus the addition of Allergan, AbbVie is competitively well-positioned to move forward into the new decade.

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