Sanofi entered a multiyear collaboration and license agreement with BioNTech to develop up to five cancer immunotherapies, each consisting of a mixture of synthetic messenger RNAs, the companies announced Tuesday. "Our collaboration with BioNTech has the potential to lay the foundation for a unique therapeutic modality in immuno-oncology," remarked Elias Zerhouni, president of global R&D at Sanofi.
The deal includes upfront near-term milestone payments of $60 million to BioNTech, as well as over $300 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones and other payments per product. The companies noted that if launched, BioNTech would also be eligible for tiered royalties on net sales up to double digits. In addition, BioNTech has the option to co-develop and co-commercialise two of the five mRNA therapeutics products with Sanofi in the EU and the US.
"Immunotherapy has shown promise as an avenue to develop potentially curative treatments for people with cancer, and Sanofi has strategically launched a number of inter-company collaborations in this area in recent months," said Zerhouni. In August, Sanofi announced a deal with Evotec and Apeiron Biologics to develop small molecule-based immuno-oncology therapies to treat solid and haematological cancers by enhancing the anti-tumour activity of the human immune system.
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