Genmab and its partner Jonhson&Jonhson, through its subsidiary Janssen Biotech, are trying to speed up daratumumab. The companies initiated a rolling submission for the candidate that targets multiple myeloma.

The German-American partnership is trying to accelerate the arrival of daratumumab to the market, only just after the presentation of optimistic results of MOR202’s phase I/IIa. Morphosys’ candidate for the same indication as J&J’s, was doubted after Celgene abandoned the project. MOR202 cleared up all negative impressions so far on it, but the drug is still in an earlier stage than daratumumab, whose remarkable phase II was presented in ASCO.

Both candidates target the same transmembrane enzyme, CD38, which is present on the surface of multiple myeloma cells as well as in other malignant diseases. The antibodies induce rapid tumor cell death through diverse mechanisms of action.

J&J might feel that Morphosys is on its heels and, after all, they are competing for an approximate €3.5Bn market, analysts say. Efforts that are not in vain as multiple myeloma is the third most common blood cancer in the United States and it is estimated that, globally, 114 thousand people will be diagnosed with this disease. Daratumumab, which has already been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation expects to reach the market early next year if it gets the FDA’s Biologics License Application.

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