Genmab loses appeal in Darzalex royalties arbitration case against Johnson & Johnson

While sales for Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex continue to boom—as the company reported in its quarterly earnings presentation on Tuesday—the pharma major got more good news about its blockbuster multiple myeloma treatment with a victory in an arbitration case.

An appeal arbitrator has rejected Genmab’s claim that it is due additional milestone and royalty payments for Darzalex. The Danish biotech was hoping to overturn a 2-1 ruling in a second arbitration between the companies over Darzalex royalties. The decision exhausts Genmab’s royalty claims against J&J.

Genmab claimed that Darzalex Faspro, the highly successful subcutaneous version of treatment, should be considered a new product under their licensing agreement and thus subject to a new milestone payment and a refreshed 13-year term of royalties on sales.

In ruling against Genmab, the appeal arbitrator said that the company should have registered the claim in a previous arbitration between the companies.

In that case, in which Genmab contested a J&J patent on the subcutaneous formulation of Darzalex, the tribunal determined that J&J must pay royalties through the end of Genmab’s last-held patent on the drug, but not during the time when it would be under protection from the J&J patent. Genmab’s patents don’t expire until early in the next decade.

The case stems from 2020 when J&J reduced its royalty split with Genmab after using Halozyme’s subcutaneous drug delivery technology to develop Darzalex Faspro. J&J claimed that Genmab should contribute to royalties paid to Halozyme.

On Tuesday, J&J reported 2023 sales of Darzalex at $9.7 billion, which was a 22% increase from the previous year. Stelara ($10.9 billion) was the only other J&J drug with a higher sales figure.