Copenhagen, Denmark; March 8, 2016 – Genmab A/S (Nasdaq Copenhagen: GEN) announced today an update on development plans for ofatumumab in autoimmune indications focusing on relapsing multiple sclerosis following the transfer of the rights to ofatumumab in this disease area from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to Novartis at the end of 2015. Phase III studies are expected to be initiated by Novartis with the subcutaneous formulation of ofatumumab as therapy for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis during the second half of 2016.
The Phase III study of the subcutaneous formulation of ofatumumab in pemphigus vulgaris, which was started by GSK will be discontinued to focus on relapsing multiple sclerosis. The decision to discontinue the trial was not related to any safety or tolerability concerns. There are no current plans to develop ofatumumab in neuromyelitis optica.
"We are very pleased with Novartis' commitment to move the development of ofatumumab forward in multiple sclerosis and look forward to the initiation of the Phase III studies in the second half of this year," said Jan van de Winkel, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.
About Ofatumumab (Arzerra®)
Ofatumumab is a human monoclonal antibody that is designed to target the CD20 molecule found on the surface of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells and normal B lymphocytes.
In the United States, Arzerra is approved for use in combination with chlorambucil for the treatment of previously untreated patients with CLL for whom fludarabine-based therapy is considered inappropriate. Arzerra is also approved in the U.S. as extended treatment of patients who are in complete or partial response after at least two lines of therapy for recurrent or progressive CLL. In the European Union, Arzerra is approved for use in combination with chlorambucil or bendamustine for the treatment of patients with CLL who have not received prior therapy and who are not eligible for fludarabine-based therapy. In more than 50 countries worldwide, Arzerra is also indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with CLL who are refractory after prior treatment with fludarabine and alemtuzumab.
The subcutaneous formulation of ofatumumab is also being investigated by Novartis in multiple sclerosis. The use of ofatumumab in multiple sclerosis is investigational and is not currently approved in any market.
Arzerra is marketed under a collaboration agreement between Genmab and Novartis.
Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1999, the company has two approved antibodies, Arzerra® (ofatumumab) for the treatment of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia indications and DARZALEX® (daratumumab) for the treatment of heavily pretreated or double refractory multiple myeloma. Daratumumab is in clinical development for additional multiple myeloma indications and for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Genmab also has a broad clinical and pre-clinical product pipeline. Genmab's technology base consists of validated and proprietary next generation antibody technologies - the DuoBody® platform for generation of bispecific antibodies, and the HexaBody® platform which creates effector function enhanced antibodies. The company intends to leverage these technologies to create opportunities for full or co-ownership of future products. Genmab has alliances with top tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. For more information visit www.genmab.com.
Rachel Curtis Gravesen, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations & Communications
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Genmab A/S and its subsidiaries own the following trademarks: Genmab®; the Y-shaped Genmab logo®; Genmab in combination with the Y-shaped Genmab logo™; the DuoBody logo®; the HexaBody logo™; HuMax®; HuMax-CD20®; DuoBody®; HexaBody® and UniBody®. Arzerra® is a trademark of Novartis AG or its affiliates. DARZALEX® is a trademark of Janssen Biotech, Inc.