Genmab recently received $30 million from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Janssen Biotech. The payment was for the initial commercial sale of Darzalex in Europe. Darzalex is a treatment for multiple myeloma and it is approved for marketing in the U.S. and Europe. With the latest payment for Darzalex in connection with European sales of the drug, the amount of milestone payments that Genmab has received from JNJ over the past two years now totals $112 million.
The latest milestone payment continues the profit period for Genmab AS with Darzalex. Analysts believe that there could be more benefits coming for the company given the ongoing efforts to advance the treatment. Introduction of Darzalex in international markets is also expected to pave way for more revenues in the coming years.
Officials of Genmab appeared impressed at how fast JNJ moved to begin selling Darzalex in Europe. It didn’t take long between the time regulators in Europe cleared the drug for marketing in the region and its launch in the market. According to Genmab’s CEO Jan van de Winkel, the quick launch of Darzalex in Europe seems to take its cue from the rapid advancement of the drug itself.
Strong clinical data
The optimism about the revenue potential of Darzalex is predicated on the strength of the drug’s clinical trial data. Worth mentioning is that Genmab’s Darzalex is the first monoclonal antibody drug to receive FDA clearance to treat multiple myeloma.
There are at least two key events coming in the weeks ahead that could further strengthen the revenue potential of Darzalex. The presentation of clinical data involving Darzalex at the European Hematology Association (EHA) on June 12 is one of these. In the POLLUX study, Darzalex was compared against other rival drugs in patients afflicted with multiple myeloma. According to top-line data, it turns out that Darzalex demonstrated a remarkable reduction of 63% in the risk of disease progression. But official results of the study will be released on the date cited.
The other important event ahead is the presentation of data in a study that assessed the performance of the combined treatment of Darzalex with another drug called Velcade in a Phase III CASTOR trial. No top-line data of the CASTOR study has yet been released.