Genmab A/S will take several steps to focus its efforts on cancer therapeutics and establish a “sustainable level of research and development investment,” including discontinuing its HuMax-CD4 (zanolimumab) program and reducing its work force by 101 positions.
These decisions come as a result of a portfolio review and assessment of the organization.
HuMax-CD4 is currently being evaluated in a Phase III trial as a treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. However, due to slow patient recruitment and “numerous competing clinical trials,” the company concluded there was not enough potential to take the drug to market.
In addition, Genmab will “wind down” its early-stage studies of HuMax-EGFr (zalutumumab) in colorectal and lung cancers based on new information about the role of KRAS mutations and appropriate therapeutic regimens. However, the company will continue its development of two Phase III and two earlier-stage studies of HuMax-EGFr in head and neck cancer.
The company added that it will also take measures to out-license three of its early-stage development programs that fall outside the new cancer focus: HuMax-HepC in hepatitis C, HuMax-IL8 in palmoplantar pustulosis and HuMax-TAC in organ transplant rejection.
Genmab does not expect that these decisions will have a material effect on this year’s financial guidance.
“The board and management of Genmab deeply regret the need to reduce our work force, all of whom have been valued members of our team,” said Lisa Drakeman, Genmab’s chief executive officer. “However, the changes are necessary to ensure that we have the correct level of staff for the planned development programs. The need to make these changes has taken on a special urgency in the current economic climate.”