Danish biotechnology company Genmab has formed a collaboration and exclusive licence alliance with Germany-based Immatics Biotechnologies.

The alliance will focus on the discovery and development of next-generation bispecific immunotherapies for various types of cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Genmab will get exclusive access to three new tumour targets detected using Immatics’ XPRESIDENT technology.

The deal also involves the option for Genmab to licence up to two additional targets. The company can choose to advance any product candidate resulting from the alliance.

Genmab will develop, manufacture and commercialise the selected candidates, while Immatics will hold an option for their co-promotion in certain European Union (EU) countries.

Immatics chief medical officer and managing director Carsten Reinhardt said: “We are very pleased to join forces with one of the world-leading biotechnology companies to develop and advance novel and highly active cancer therapeutics.

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“This collaboration gives us the opportunity to combine our unique technologies and expertise to create next-generation therapies.”

“This collaboration underpins Immatics’ leadership in intracellular tumour target identification and T-cell receptor engineering.”

The partnership is intended to combine Genmab’s technology for and expertise in antibodies with Immatics’ XPRSIDENT technology that targets and T-cell receptor (TCR) capabilities for bolstering the former’s footprint in immuno-oncology area.

Genmab CEO Jan van de Winkel said: “This collaboration with Immatics gives us the opportunity to combine our unique technologies and expertise to create differentiated novel next-generation therapies.

“We very much look forward to this exciting partnership in the field of cancer immunotherapy.”

As part of the agreement, Genmab will make an upfront payment of $54m to Immatics. The latter is also eligible for up to $550m in development, regulatory and commercial milestones for each product, as well as tiered royalties on net sales.