Genmab regained all rights to the HuMax-CD4® antibody candidate from Merck Serono. Genmab says it will continue the ongoing Phase II development of the antibody against noncutaneous T-cell lymphoma and the Phase III study in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).
Genmab also plans to expand trials into earlier-stage patients to assess the drug in combination with approved therapies for CTCL. The company confirmed plans to develop a UniBody™ product targeting the CD4 receptor as a potential candidate for the prevention or slowing of HIV-1 infection and AIDS. UniBody is an antibody technology that creates a stable, smaller antibody format with a longer anticipated therapeutic window than current small antibody formats, Genmab notes.
Laboratory studies in an immunodeficient mouse model, where animals were reconstituted with human blood cells, showed HuMax-CD4 to effectively block HIV-1 replication and reduce depletion of CD4+ T-cells by the virus, according to Genmab. A UniBody targeting CD4 represents a promising drug candidate that may prevent or slow HIV-1 infection and AIDS and spare T-cells.
Worldwide rights to HuMax-CD4 were licensed to Merck Serono in August 2005. Regaining rights to HuMax-CD4 will not influence Genmab's financial guidance for 2007.