After signing an agreement with Eli Lilly to identify and validate novel tumor targets, last week, the German biotech BioNTech now started a collaboration with Genmab that will be focused on novel bispecific antibody products in immuno-oncology
Founded in 2008, the BioNTech Group has become one of the fastest-growing biotechnology company in Europe. The German biotech is a fully integrated biotechnology company developing personalized cancer immunotherapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech will provide proprietary immunomodulatory antibodies and onco-immunotherapy expertise that will combine with Genmab’s innovative DuoBody technology platform for the generation of bispecific antibodies. This joint approach is expected to yield superior bispecific antibodies which specifically stimulate the immune system against cancer.
Genmab will pay an upfront fee of €8.9M to BioNTech and additional potential near-term payments of up to €4.5M if certain BioNTech’s assets become nominated for further developments.
Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, said: “The collaboration with Genmab provides BioNTech with a great opportunity to jointly generate novel bispecific antibodies with unique immunomodulatory properties potentially suitable for the treatment of many cancers.” He further added: “This is an important step forward in BioNTech’s strategy of developing and commercializing disruptive immunotherapies with partners such as Genmab interested in true innovation.”
This new deal is in line with the last week events in immuno-oncology: Adaptimmune achieved one of the biggest European biotech IPOs on Nasdaq and Juno Therapeutics acquired the German Biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics. The field is moving very quickly and BioNTech has assets to play in this league.