Genmab said today its DuoBody® technology platform will be used by Gilead Sciences to create bispecific antibody candidates targeting HIV, under a licensing deal that could generate up to $282 million-plus for Genmab.

Genmab has granted Gilead an exclusive license for use of DuoBody to create and develop bispecific antibody candidates for a therapeutic program designed to fight HIV, as well as an option to obtain a second exclusive license.

DuoBody is designed for discovering and developing bispecific antibodies, with the goal of improving antibody therapy for cancer, autoimmune, infectious, and central nervous system disease. Bispecific antibodies bind to two different epitopes on either the same target or different targets—a mechanism designed to improve their specificity and efficacy against disease targets.

According to Genmab, DuoBody molecules can be administered and dosed as other antibody therapeutics.

In return for the license for DuoBody, Gilead has agreed to pay Genmab $5 million upfront, and up to $277 million in potential payments tied to achieving development, regulatory, and sales milestones for the first product created through the collaboration. Genmab is also entitled to single-digit royalties on Gilead's sales of any commercialized products developed by the companies.

Should Gilead exercise the option to the second license, Genmab said, it would receive similar payment from Gilead.

The commercial license agreement follows a research collaboration of undisclosed value launched in June 2014 by Genmab and Gilead Sciences. Gilead agreed to use and evaluate DuoBody as well as the HexaBody™ tech platform.

Genmab said the agreement is not expected to have a material effect on its 2016 financial guidance. The company has projected operating income of DKK 25 million to 75 million (about $3.8 million to $11.3 million), on revenues of between DKK 825 million and 875 million (about $124 million and $131.5 million).

The licensing deal was the second collaboration announced today by Gilead. The biotech giant is partnering with Polyphor to discover and develop macrocycle drugs against unspecified “challenging biological” targets to be selected by Gilead.

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