MAINZ, Germany and CAMBRIDGE, UK, January 10, 2022 – BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”) and Crescendo Biologics Ltd (“Crescendo”), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing novel, targeted T cell enhancing therapeutics, today announced that they have entered a multi-target discovery collaboration to develop novel immunotherapies for the treatment of patients with cancer and other diseases. The initial term of the discovery collaboration is three years.
Crescendo will contribute its unique, proprietary, transgenic platform to deliver fully human heavy-chain antibody domains (Humabody® VH) against targets nominated by BioNTech. Humabodies represent a novel class of therapeutics that retain the high-affinity binding and specificity of conventional therapeutic antibodies while providing additional advantages such as small size, enhanced tissue and tumor penetration, stability and molecular simplicity due to the lack of a light chain. In particular, the modular nature of Humabodies make them ideally suited for the development of multi-target immunotherapies.
“Crescendo’s platform provides excellent properties for exploiting novel targets and target combinations which we believe has great potential for the development of multi-specific mRNA and engineered cell-based therapies in a variety of disease areas,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of BioNTech. “We are excited to begin working with Crescendo to further strengthen and expand our multimodal immunotherapy portfolio and deliver breakthrough precision medicines for patients.”
“To collaborate with BioNTech and their world-class team is a transformational opportunity for Crescendo. We are looking forward to further leveraging our clinically validated Humabody VH platform within mRNA therapeutics to develop better treatment options for patients,” said Theodora Harold, Chief Executive Officer at Crescendo Biologics.
Under the terms of the agreement, Crescendo will receive $40 million upfront, including a cash payment and an equity investment from BioNTech, as well as research funding for the period of the collaboration. BioNTech will be responsible for global development and hold exclusive worldwide commercialization rights on any products arising from the collaboration. Crescendo will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones up to a total of more than $750 million, in addition to tiered royalties on global net sales.