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BioNTech Inks $310M Personalized Cancer Vaccine Deal With Genentech

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – German biotech firm BioNTech announced today that it will partner with Genentech to manufacture and commercialize personalized messenger RNA-based cancer vaccines in a deal valued at up to $310 million.

According to BioNTech, the companies aim to develop drugs using its IVAC — short for individualized vaccines against cancer — Mutanome clinical platform, which uses next-generation sequencing to identify mutations specific to a patient's cancer. An mRNA vaccine encoding these mutations can then be designed to trigger an immune response specific to the tumor.

Initial clinical development under the partnership will focus on studies combining IVAC Mutanome-developed drugs with other therapeutics in a variety of cancer types, BioNTech said.

Under the terms of the arrangement, Roche subsidiary Genentech will pay BioNTech up to $310 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments. The companies will split all development costs and profits for certain undisclosed programs. BioNTech also has the right to co-promote certain products developed through the alliance in the US, Germany, and other unnamed countries including major European nations. Under certain conditions, BioNTech may have the sole commercialization rights to products Genentech decides not to commercialize

BioNTech will manufacture mRNA cancer vaccines for clinical testing, while Genentech will handle manufacturing for commercial supply. BioNTech will have the right to manufacture commercial products as part of a global supply network.

Additional terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

"Combining BioNTech's broad proprietary capabilities in the design, formulation, manufacturing, and clinical testing of individualized neoantigen-based mRNA vaccines with Genentech's eminent cancer immunotherapy, diagnostic, manufacturing, and commercial expertise, will allow us, on a global scale, to drive forward the development of individualized vaccines to the market to treat a broad range of cancers," BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in a statement.