Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson company, has signed a licence and development agreement with Genmab to develop anti-cancer compound Daratumumab (HuMax-CD38).

Daratumumab is a human CD38 monoclonal antibody currently in Phase I/II studies for relapsed, refractory multiple myeloma.

Janssen has made an upfront payment to Genmab for an exclusive worldwide licence to develop and commercialise daratumumab as well as a back-up CD38 human antibody.

Genmab will be responsible for completing the GEN501 and GEN503 Phase I/II trials, while Janssen will be responsible for all other development, clinical and regulatory filing activities.

Janssen Research & Development head William Hait said the firm has recognised the power of monoclonal antibodies in biologics.

"We look forward to applying that same expertise to daratumumab to help meet the needs of patients with multiple myeloma," Hait said.

According to the deal, Genmab is also eligible to receive additional payments based upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones.

Johnson & Johnson will also make an equity investment in Genmab.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, as well as approval from the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority and US antitrust authorities.