Daratumumab is a human CD38 monoclonal antibody with broad-spectrum killing activity. Daratumumab is in clinical development for multiple myeloma (MM). Daratumumab targets the CD38 molecule which is highly expressed on the surface of multiple myeloma cells. Daratumumab could also have potential in other hematological tumors on which CD38 is expressed, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, follicular lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.
Daratumumab has received Fast Track Designation and Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the US FDA for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy including a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and an immunomodulatory agent (IMiD) or who are double refractory to a PI and IMiD. Breakthrough Therapy Designation is a program intended to expedite the development and review of drugs to treat serious or life-threatening diseases in cases where preliminary clinical evidence shows that the drug may provide substantial improvements over available therapy. Daratumumab has also received Orphan Drug Designation from the US FDA and the EMA for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
Daratumumab has multiple mechanisms of action, including complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), apoptosis and modulation of CD38 enzymatic activity. In pre-clinical studies, daratumumab has been shown to effectively kill multiple myeloma cells and to enhance the potency of other multiple myeloma treatments.
Genmab announced a global license and development agreement for daratumumab with Janssen Biotech, Inc. in August 2012. The agreement became effective in September 2012.
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Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells and accounts for approximately 1% of all cancers. According to American Society of Cancer estimates, approximately 21,700 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed and approximately 10,710 deaths will occur in the US in 2012. At present, no cure is available. The 5-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is around 40%. New treatment modalities might improve the surivival.
Daratumumab (HuMax®-CD38) is being investigated in multiple studies of multiple myeloma. For more information on these studies, visit clinicaltrials.gov. Additional studies are planned.