The collaboration represents BioNTech’s second focused on cancer immunotherapy in as many weeks. On May 11, BioNTech launched an up-to-$360 million partnership with Eli Lilly to identify and validate new tumor targets and their corresponding T cell receptors (TCRs) in one or more undisclosed types of cancer.
In the latest alliance with Genmab, BioNTech said it will combine its immunomodulatory antibodies and onco-immunotherapy expertise with Genmab's DuoBody® technology platform, which uses a three-step process to produce, purify, and recombine a pair of human IgG1 antibodies. Genmab says DuoBody can be applied toward both drug discovery and large-scale development of bispecific antibodies specifically designed to stimulate the immune system against cancer.
Genmab has agreed to pay BioNTech a $10 million upfront fee, plus potential near-term payments of up to $5 million if BioNTech assets are nominated for further development. The companies have agreed to share equally development and commercialization costs, together with product ownership.
Should either company not wish to move a product candidate forward, the other is entitled to continue developing the product on predetermined licensing terms encompassing development and commercialization milestones and royalties on net sales, the companies said. The agreement also includes provisions which will allow the companies to opt out of joint development at key points.
Publicly-traded Genmab said the collaboration with privately-held BioNTech will not affect previously-disclosed guidance to investors.