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Nov 5, 2009

Genmab to Sell Manufacturing Facility and Cut 300 Jobs

  • Genmab is selling its manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and has cut about 300 jobs worldwide as part of an approximately DKK 300 million (about $445.74 million) cost-cutting exercise. The overall projected savings will include noncash items of approximately DKK 60 million, or about $89.16 million.
    Genmab says that it will continue to focus on the development of antibody therapeutics for cancer and has no plans to drop any of its ongoing projects. As part of its drive to build what it describes as a more flexible model, however, the firm has decided to meet future manufacturing requirements through outsourcing. The Brooklyn Park facility, which is now ready for sale, will operate on a maintenance-only basis until a buyer has been found.

    The staff reduction is being made to match workload, which Genmab expects to remain relatively low as the company’s partners take on increasing responsibility for upcoming studies.

    “It is vital that we re-focus our energies on what Genmab is best at and what the pharmaceutical industry needs most—innovation,” notes Lisa N. Drakeman, Ph.D., CEO. “The challenging demands on our industry require Genmab to take a hard look at our organization and continue to prioritize spending.”

    Genmab’s announcement comes just a couple of weeks after the company and partner GlaxoSmithKline reported accelerated FDA approval of the fully human CD20 antibody, Arzerra™, as a treatment for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that is refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab. During August Genmab announced positive Phase II results of Arzerra as a front-line treatment in combination with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) in patients with previously untreated follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

    Arzerra is being co-developed worldwide with GSK. The antibody is in various stages of clinical development for indications including CLL, NHL, rheumatoid arthritis, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia.

    Genmab’s clinical pipeline also includes the EGF receptor antibody, Zalutumumab (HuMax-EGFr), which is being developed in house as a treatment for head and neck cancer either alone or in combination with radio/chemotherapy. RG1507 is a fully human antibody created by Genmab under a collaboration with Roche. The molecule targets the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor and is in development as a treatment for sarcoma and a variety of solid tumors. Genmab’s earlier-stage clinical pipeline includes antibody products discovered and developed either in-house or through its collaboration with Roche.

     



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