Fledgling f-star inks $1.7B discovery deal with Boehringer

Proving yet again just how hot promising antibody technology can be, Boehringer Ingelheim inked a discovery pact with Vienna-based f-star Biotechnologische that will pay more than $1.7 billion if all the stars align for seven different therapeutic antibody programs. Boehringer is hitching a discovery ride on f-star's Modular Antibody Technology platform, offering up to €180 million in payments, excluding royalties, for each of seven drug candidates spanning a variety of therapeutic areas. There was no breakdown on how that money can be earned.

"F-star has developed novel technology for the discovery of antibody-based products that are clearly differentiated from conventional antibodies and other protein-based drugs," says Dr. Kevin FitzGerald, the CEO of f-star. "This partnership will enable f-star to expand the exploitation of this technology by combining with the impressive global research and development capabilities and resources of Boehringer Ingelheim."

The pact marks a big advance for the fledgling f-star, which announced the closing of its €8 million extended Series A at the beginning of this year. The biotech's technology allows the engineering of new antigen binding sites into "constant and variable" domains of antibodies. F-star has touted the development of two molecular formats: Fcab and mAb2.

- here's the Biotechnologische release