Genmab and UiO: Aiming to use artificial intelligence to develop new therapeutics

Victor Greiff (University of Oslo) og Fridtjof Lund-Johansen (Oslo University Hospital). Photo: Elisabeth K. Andersen.
28. June 2024
Researchers Victor Greiff and Fridtjof Lund-Johansen from the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, respectively, have entered a research collaboration with the Danish biotech company Genmab. The aim of the collaboration, according to them, is to explore new methods and approaches to developing antibody-based therapeutics using artificial intelligence.

Genmab is not just any pharmaceutical development company. The Danish biotech company is a world leader in the development of new antibody-based therapeutics for cancer and other serious diseases. They have invested heavily in innovation and development for 25 years, and their innovation has powered eight antibody-based therapeutics. The company’s market value at the end of 2023 was DKK 142 billion, and 70 per cent of its operating budget for the year was spent on research and development. 

‘Collaborations and partnerships have always been part of Genmab’s DNA. We keep on building an innovation ecosystem of partnerships with other biotech and pharmaceutical companies, academia, research institutes and data science companies. The purpose of these partnerships is to find new approaches and solutions to creating innovative and unique antibody therapeutics, with a goal to impact the lives of patients. We are delighted to now be working together with Victor Greiff and Fridtjof Lund-Johansen at the University of Oslo, says Rob Ruijtenbeek, VP, Head Antibody Discovery Technologies, Genmab.

Rob Ruijtenbeek, VP, Head Antibody Discovery Technologies, Genmab

Accelerating progress

The Norwegian researchers acknowledge that landing this collaboration, which will extend over several years, is a real feather in their cap, and will fund a number of research positions affiliated to the project. 

‘The project is at the core of our research field. This is research and development we would have wanted to do anyway, but this agreement will significantly accelerate our progress,’ says Victor Greiff.

Greiff leads a research group, GreiffLab, at the Department of Immunology at the University of Oslo.

Fridtjof Lund-Johansen leads a research group, the Protein Array Group, at the Oslo University Hospital and is partner in the Precision Immunotherapy Alliance Centre of Excellence (PRIMA).

Recognition of the Norwegian research community

‘Genmab’s desire to collaborate with Greiff and Lund-Johansen is a valuable validation of their research,’ says Lise Rødsten. She is Technology Strategy Manager at Inven2, where she collaborates with the two researchers to bring innovation projects in their respective fields to market.

Rødsten has negotiated the agreement together with a team from Inven2 consisting of Business Development and Licensing Executive Ken Rosendal, Lawyer Helle Thorsen and IPR Manager Kirsten Stangebye.

‘Genmab is a company that can pick and choose among partners globally, so it is really exciting and, not least, a real recognition, that they went on to actually choose this community. It says a lot about how advanced these two researchers are in their field,’ says Rødsten.

’To develop this method for antibody-based medicines, we need a lot of data to train our model on, and we now have access to that’, concludes Lund-Johansen.

Lise Rødsten

Lise Rødsten, Technology Strategy Manager in Inven2.