Denmark’s Genmab is splashing out $240 million of its cash in order to acquire an antibody manufacturing facility from the USA’s PDL BioPharma.

The facility, which is located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, has a production capacity of 22,000 litres, and Genmab says this will be sufficient “to provide a sustainable source of both clinical and commercial scale material” for its pipeline. It will enable the firm to transition three antibodies from research to manufacturing per year.

Chief executive Lisa Drakeman said that over the past few years Genmab has been preparing for the market launch of its late stage antibodies “and we continue to build a broad pipeline…which currently includes 10 products in clinical development”. Consequently, “the need to secure significant manufacturing capacity has become an increasing priority," she said, and the new PDL facility “represents our best option".

Genmab plans to retain the 170 employees currently working at the manufacturing facility and in connection with the transaction, it would produce clinical material to supply PDL's investigational studies for certain of its pipeline.