Glaxo forges $2.1B deal for HuMax-CD20

Denmark's Genmab will gain up to $2.1 billion in a licensing deal with GlaxoSmithKline for the HuMax-CD20 antibody for leukemia, far outstripping the numbers predicted by analysts. Genmab will get $102 million up front, a 10 percent equity investment worth $357 million and up to $1.6 billion in milestone payments. The therapy is in a late-stage trial for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodkin's lymphoma and in mid-stage trials for rheumatoid arthritis and new cases of lymphocytic leukemia. Genmab has forecast that HuMax-CD20 will gain regulatory approval in 2008 and has projected top annual sales of $2 billion. Analysts say that this is the biggest licensing deal on record, surpassing the $2 billion deal for Erbitux which was later scaled down.

GlaxoSmithKline has been on a buying spree recently, inking the acquisition of Domantis while executing a string of licensing deals. Altogether, Glaxo has committed up to $4 billion in the last two weeks to buyouts and development pacts. Glaxo is putting the market on notice that it is bullishly stuffing its pipeline with some of the brightest therapeutic hopes tracked around the globe as it prepares to lose patent control of its blockbusters.

- check out the release for more information
- read the report on the deal from the International Herald Tribune