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Crescendo Biologics strikes cancer immunotherapy discovery deal worth potential $790m with BioNTech SE

Crescendo Biologics will receive $40million upfront and is in line for milestone payments of more than more than $750m after striking deal with BioNTech SE to collaborate on cancer immunotherapy.

The initial three-year multi-target discovery collaboration will use the Babraham Research Campus company’s proprietary transgenic platform to deliver fully human heavy-chain antibody domains (Humabody VH) against targets nominated by BioNTech.

Crescendo Biologics’ CEO Theodora Harold. Picture: Richard Marsham.
Crescendo Biologics’ CEO Theodora Harold. Picture: Richard Marsham.

Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said: “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.

“We are excited to begin working with Crescendo to further strengthen and expand our multimodal immunotherapy portfolio and deliver breakthrough precision medicines for patients.”

Humabodies are a novel class of therapeutics with the high-affinity binding and specificity of conventional therapeutic antibodies but with the additional advantages of small size, enhanced tissue and tumour penetration, stability and molecular simplicity due to the lack of a light chain.

Crescendo CEO Theodora Harold said: “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.”

Crescendo’s upfront payment includes cash and an equity investment, as well as research funding.

BioNTech will be responsible for global development and hold exclusive worldwide commercialisation rights on any products arising from the collaboration.

Crescendo will be eligible for tiered royalties on global net sales in addition to its development, regulatory and commercial milestones, which total more than $750m.

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