Genmab and BioNTech expand collaboration to develop and commercialize immunotherapy candidates

T cells cancer

A collaboration between Genmab and BioNTech to develop and commercialize immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer patients has been expanded. 

Under the expansion announced today (August 5), the companies will jointly work to research, develop, and commercialize novel monospecific antibody candidates for various cancer indications.

Since 2015, the companies have been working on the joint development of bispecific cancer antibodies aimed at improving immunotherapy options for cancer patients.

Antibody therapies

Jan van de Winkel, CEO of Danish Genmab, said: “We are thrilled to expand our collaboration with BioNTech to include additional novel antibody therapies with the goal to deliver them to patients in need of innovative therapeutic options.

“Strategic partnerships, like our collaboration with BioNTech, are critical to developing differentiated antibody medicines ​with the aim of improving the lives of cancer patients.”

Under the expanded collaboration, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize, subject to regulatory approval, monospecific antibodies leveraging Genmab’s proprietary HexaBody technology platform. The first monospecific antibody candidate, GEN1053/BNT313, is expected to enter clinical trials by the end of 2022.

Oncology pipeline

Ugur Sahin, CEO at BioNTech, said: “The expansion of our collaboration with Genmab expands our antibody portfolio and will further strengthen our oncology pipeline in indications with high unmet medical needs.

“We are committed to working together with our colleagues at Genmab to develop new treatments for people affected by cancer.”

GEN1053/BNT313 is a CD27 antibody based on the HexaBody technology, specifically engineered to form an antibody hexamer (a formation of six antibodies) upon binding its target on the cell membrane of the T cells. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will equally share the development costs and potential future profit deriving from GEN1053/BNT313.

Immunomodulatory antibodies

The companies currently have two jointly developed investigational medicines in clinical testing since 2019, fusing BioNTech’s proprietary immunomodulatory antibodies and Genmab’s DuoBody technology platform.

GEN1046/BNT311 (DuoBody-PD-L1x4-1BB) is being evaluated in phase 1/2 clinical trials for the treatment of advanced solid tumors – NCT04937153NCT03917381, and in a phase 2 study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer NCT05117242). GEN1042/BNT312 (DuoBody-CD40x4-1BB) is being evaluated for the treatment of patients with metastatic or locally advanced solid tumors in a phase 1/2 study (NCT04083599).

Genmab and Germany-based BioNTech will continue to share costs and potential future profits on a 50:50 basis.

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