In a world of options, Genmab's CEO chose partnerships

In 2015, Genmab partnered with relatively unknown biotech firm Biontech. Reflecting on how far Genmab has come since, CEO Jan van de Winkel is still confident that partnerships, rather than acquisitions, are the way forward. If it had acquired Biontech at the time, the CEO speculates Genmab may have put a stop to other activities – including the Covid-19 vaccine efforts that went on to save millions of lives. This and fairness are worth remembering as biotech firms are increasingly strapped for cash, van de Winkel reflects.

Jan van de Winkel, CEO of Genmab | Photo: /Ritzau Scanpix/Sofie Mathiassen

”Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”

The famous Warren Buffett quote describes the situation that the biotech industry is facing today. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index has lost over a third of its market value since August 2021, back when the gilded era of biotech was drawing to a close, and capital insatiable firms had to make tough calls as investors began to drift away.

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