2022-12-20| Licensing

Biogen To Receive Potential Royalties For Anti-CD20 Bispecific From Genentech

by Joy Lin
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Biogen and Roche’s Genentech have reached an agreement whereby Biogen will receive tiered royalties “in the mid-single digits” on potential sales of glofitamab, a CD20xCD3 bispecific antibody. Genentech will retain sole decision-making rights on sales of glofitamab in the US. 

The two companies have collaborated to develop anti-CD20 antibodies since 1995. Glofitamab, along with another CD20xCD3 bispecific called mosunetuzumab, is part of that portfolio. The two drugs are being investigated as monotherapies or in combination with other drugs for B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, including diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) and other blood cancers. 

Related Article: 64th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition: Discoveries That Reinvent Blood Disease Treatments

First-In-Class T-Cell Engager

Glofitamab and its cousin mosunetuzumab are also called T-cell engagers because they bring T-cells in close proximity to cancer cells, activating the release of cytotoxic proteins from the T-cell. Both molecules bind CD20 on the surface of B-cells and CD3 on the surface of T-cells. Glofitamab was designed with a novel 2:1 structural format, enabling one region to bind to CD3 and two regions to CD20. 

According to recent data from the pivotal Phase 2 study in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL, a fixed course of glofitamab induced early and durable responses that were maintained long after the treatment ended. A one-year follow-up found that 61% of the patients (37 out of 61) maintained a complete response (CR), while 92.6% remained progression-free. The data was presented at ASH 2022 and published in NEJM.  

The trial results have been submitted for review to the European Medicines Agency. Submissions to other health authorities worldwide, including the US FDA, are ongoing, said Biogen. If approved, glofitamab could be the first CD20xCD3 bispecific that can be given for a fixed period of time to people with pretreated aggressive lymphoma. 

While Biogen has opted for tiered royalties for glofitamab, the exact details for the profit sharing of mosunetuzumab have yet to be revealed. In January 2022, Biogen opted to have joint decision-making rights related to the bispecific’s development and commercialization. 

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