COPENHAGEN Genmab has agreed a deal that could be worth over $1.1 billion with a unit of Johnson & Johnson for the rights to a cancer agent, giving the U.S. company a 10.7 percent equity stake in the Danish biotech group.
Genmab said on Thursday that J&J unit Janssen Biotech Inc would obtain global license rights to cancer agent daratumumab.
Janssen Biotech will make an upfront payment of $55 million for the license and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp would invest 475 million Danish crowns ($80 million) in new Genmab shares, the company said.
After the issue of the new shares, Johnson & Johnson will own 10.7 percent of Genmab's share capital, it said.
Genmab could also be entitled to up to $1 billion in development, regulatory and sales milestones and Janssen will be fully responsible for all costs associated with developing and commercializing daratumumab going forward, it said.
"Daratumumab is an exciting, innovative compound, and we are delighted to add it to our portfolio," said William N. Hait, head of Janssen Research & Development.
The deal led Genmab to raise its guidance for 2012 revenue to 435-460 million Danish crowns from 375-400 million, and cut its full-year operating loss forecast to 140-190 million from 200-250 million.
"This agreement significantly strengthens our financial position," said Genmab's Chief Executive Jan van de Winkel. ($1 = 5.9272 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Mette Fraende)