BioNTech diagnosticsBioNTech AG, a fully integrated biotechnology company developing truly personalized cancer immunotherapies, announces that it has signed an agreement with Genmab A/S 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 $10 million to BioNTech and additional potential near-term payments of up to $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.”