AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) announced on June 10 a broad oncology collaboration with Denmark-based Genmab A/S (NASDAQ: GMAB). The two firms are teaming up to jointly develop and commercialize three of Genmab’s early-stage investigational bispecific antibody product candidates. AbbVie and Genmab are also starting a discovery research collaboration for future differentiated antibody therapeutics for cancer, including epcoritamab, a bispecific antibody created using Genmab’s proprietary DuoBody technology.

AbbVie will pay Genmab $750 million upfront, with total potential development, regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $3.15 billion, as well as tiered royalties between 22% and 26% on net sales for epcoritamab outside the U.S. and Japan.

For epcoritamab, the companies will share commercial responsibilities in the U.S. and Japan, with AbbVie responsible for further global commercialization. For any future product candidates developed as a result of the companies’ research collaboration, Genmab and AbbVie will share responsibilities for global development and commercialization in the U.S. and Japan. Genmab will conduct Phase 1 studies for these programs, and AbbVie will retain the right to opt-in to program development.

Although many major Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical firms have diverted resources to COVID-19 vaccine research, building oncology and immunotherapy pipelines remain a priority based on recent M&A activity.

As we reported here, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) signed a 10-year partnership agreement to co-develop and co-commercialize next-generation cancer immunotherapy with Arcus Biosciences (NYSE: RCUS). Gilead will provide $175 million upfront, a $200 million equity investment, and more than $1.6 billion in potential R&D funding.

In early May, Menarini Group acquired Stemline Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: STML) for $692.6 million. Stemline Therapeutics is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel oncology therapies. Menarini will gain Stemline’s flagship product, ELZONRIS, which was FDA-approved in December 2018, and distribute the drug throughout European markets.

According to our Deal Search Online database, there have been five deals focused on cancer research and therapies for the second quarter, including the ones discussed above, for a total deal value of $1.67 billion.