Genmab shares have slipped on the news that partner Roche has decided to end development on a mid-stage investigational monoclonal antibody.

The Danish biotechnology firm says that Roche will discontinue development of RG1507, a monoclonal antibody directed against the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor. The decision was due to “available clinical data, the large number of molecules targeting the same pathway that are presently in development and the prioritisation of the Roche portfolio”, Genmab noted.

The Copenhagen-headquartered firm noted that the decision by the Swiss major has not been taken “as a result of safety concerns”. The compound was in Phase II trials for multiple indications, including sarcoma and non-small cell lung cancer.

The companies have been partners since May 2001, a collaboration that was extended in 2002 when Roche paid $20 million for a stake in Genmab. If all the goals had been met, the value of the pact to the latter could have been $100 million, plus royalties.

Genmab chief executive Lisa Drakeman described the news as a “setback”, but claimed that the firms “continue to have a strong working relationship”. Two other antibodies are in Phase I development.