Mainz, Germany, 19 May 2015: BioNTech AG, a fully integrated biotechnology company developing truly personalized cancer immunotherapies, announces that it has signed an agreement with Genmab A/S (OMX: GEN) to jointly research, develop and commercialize multiple bispecific antibodies for cancer immunotherapy using proprietary technologies from both companies: BioNTech's proprietary immunomodulatory antibodies and Genmab's DuoBody® technology platform.
The aim of the collaboration is to develop and commercialize immunomodulatory antibodies that activate the immune system against cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech will provide proprietary immunomodulatory antibodies and onco-immunotherapy expertise to be combined 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 USD 10 million to BioNTech and additional potential near-term payments of up to USD 5 million if certain BioNTech assets are nominated for further development. The aim of the collaboration is to jointly generate and select one or more bispecific antibody product candidates for clinical development and commercialization by the two parties; development and commercialization costs together with product ownership will be shared equally. If one of the companies does not wish to move a product candidate forward, the other company is entitled to continue developing the product on predetermined licensing terms encompassing development and commercialization milestones and royalties on net sales. The agreement also includes provisions which will allow the parties to opt out of joint development at key points.
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".
About BioNTech AG
BioNTech AG is an immunotherapy leader with bench-to-market capabilities, developing truly personalized, well-tolerated & potent treatments for cancer and other diseases. Established by clinicians and scientists the Group is pioneering disruptive technologies ranging from individualized mRNA based medicines through innovative Chimeric Antigen Receptors /T-cell Receptor-based products and novel antibody checkpoint immunomodulators. BioNTech's clinical programs are supported by an inhouse molecular diagnostics unit preparing to market its first cancer in-vitro diagnostic. Founded in 2008, BioNTech is privately held, with Strüngmann Family Office as a majority shareholder, having closed the largest initial financing in the European biopharma sector's history. Information about BioNTech is available at www.biontech.de.
Genmab is a publicly traded, international biotechnology company specializing in the creation and development of differentiated human antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Founded in 1999, the company currently has one marketed antibody, Arzerra® (ofatumumab) for the treatment of certain chronic lymphocytic leukemia indications and daratumumab in clinical development for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, in addition to other clinical programs, and an innovative pre-clinical pipeline. Genmab's technology base consists of validated and proprietary next generation antibody technologies – the DuoBody® platform for generation of bispecific antibodies, and the HexaBody® platform which creates effector function enhanced antibodies. Genmab's deep antibody expertise is expected to provide a stream of future product candidates. Partnering of selected innovative product candidates and technologies is a key focus of Genmab's strategy and the company has alliances with top tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. For more information visit www.genmab.com.