Sector News

J&J’s Janssen inks $1B biobucks pact for Mersana’s ADC tech in 3 targets

February 4, 2022
Life sciences

After expanding its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) deal with Synaffix last November to the tune of $1 billion, Mersana Therapeutics is back with another major deal. This time, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit is doling out $40 million upfront and more than $1 billion in biobucks for ADCs spanning three targets.

The pair will work together to research target candidates during preclinical development. J&J’s biotech unit will provide proprietary antibodies, and Mersana will contribute its Dolasynthen platform to help find the new ADC product candidates.

After preclinical work is completed, Janssen will take over and handle the therapies’ clinical development and commercialization. Should any of them reach the market, Mersana will receive mid-single-digit to low-double-digit percentage royalties on global sales.

The deal strengthens the financial position of the biotech, which has a wholly owned pipeline of ADCs, Mersana President and CEO Anna Protopapas said in a statement. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company had $192 million in cash and equivalents as of the latest quarter, Mersana said in November 2021.

Mersana’s lead ADC, upifitamab rilsodotin, is currently being tested in a phase 3 trial as a maintenance therapy for recurrent, platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. It is also being studied in platinum-resistant ovarian tumors through a single-arm pivotal study as well as under an early-stage umbrella trial in combination with other ovarian cancer therapies.

The deal with Janssen comes a few months after Mersana expanded its own ADC collaboration with Synaffix. In that deal, Mersana could be the one paying out more than $1 billion in exchange for access to the Dutch biotech’s site-specific platform for six additional ADC targets. The original deal, valued at $295 million, included one target in 2019.

Meanwhile, Synaffix also hatched a $415 million biobucks pact with Genmab last month.

by Kyle LaHucik


comments closed

Related News

December 3, 2023

FDA names chief scientist Bumpus as Woodcock’s successor

Life sciences

The Food and Drug Administration’s top scientist Namandjé Bumpus will assume the role of principal deputy commissioner when longtime agency leader Janet Woodcock retires from that role in early 2024, according to an announcement Thursday.

December 3, 2023

AbbVie to buy cancer drug maker ImmunoGen for $10.1 Billion

Life sciences

US biopharma AbbVie has agreed to acquire ImmunoGen in a deal which values the company at about $10.1 billion and gives AbbVie access to flagship cancer therapy Elahere (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx), a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) approved for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC), as well as a pipeline of promising next-generation ADCs.

December 3, 2023

EuroAPI appoints new Executive Committee members

Life sciences

EUROAPI today announced the appointment of David Seignolle as Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Eric Berger, and Marion Santin as Chief Legal, Compliance, and IP Officer, both joining the company’s Executive Committee. In his new role, David Seignolle will lead the transformation of the Industrial Operations organization.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach