Scancell Holdings, Calculus portfolio company, said it has signed a deal worth up to US$208m in upfront and milestone payments to license its anti-glycan antibody to cancer therapy specialist Genmab.

A US$24bn Nasdaq-listed Danish group, Genmab has been granted an exclusive worldwide licence to develop and commercialise the antibody for all therapeutic and disease areas barring cell therapies.

Scancell can earn up to a maximum US$624mln if Genmab develops and commercialises all modalities plus royalties on net sales.

The AIM-listed group said its anti-glycan is a humanised antibody developed on its anti-cancer GlyMab platform. It is one of five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) currently in Scancell’s portfolio, said the company, with the methodology able to identify “many more mAbs against glycan targets in the future”.

Glycans are a dense layer of sugar structures that cover all cells but change when a normal cell turns into a cancer cell.

“These glycan motifs that are associated with tumour malignancies can be targeted by antibodies such as the GlyMab portfolio,” Scancell said.

In a statement, Lindy Durrant, Scancell’s CEO, noted: “This license agreement with Genmab provides strong validation for our proprietary GlyMab platform and our ability to utilise this technology to support the creation of novel, differentiated antibody products.

“Genmab is a leader in the field of antibody therapies for cancer and we are very pleased to be working with them to progress this novel antibody product through clinical development and commercialisation.”