Novo Nordisk has bought itself access to Genmab’s DuoBody technology in the hope of developing bispecific antibodies for two undisclosed therapeutic programmes.

The firms are remaining tight-lipped over the exact area their partnership is focused on, only revealing that the two programmes are not cancer-related.

Bispecific antibodies bind to two different sites either on the same or on different targets, which can improve binding specificity and efficacy in inactivating disease targets. According to Genmab, DuoBody molecules are unique because they marry the benefits of bispecificity with the strengths of conventional antibodies.

Under the deal’s structure, Genmab stands to receive an upfront payment of $2 million from Novo, which, after an initial period of exclusivity for the two target combinations, can either maintain exclusivity or take the licenses forward on a non-exclusive basis. 

Potential development, regulatory and sales milestones of up to around $250 million are also in the bag for Genmab for each exclusive license, or $200 million for each non-exclusive license, as well as single-digit royalties on sales of any products hitting the market.