Crescendo’s proprietary, transgenic platform will be used to deliver fully human heavy-chain antibody domains (Humabody VH) against targets nominated by BioNTech.
Cambridge, UK-headquartered Crescendo will receive $40m upfront, including a cash payment and an equity investment from BioNTech, as well as research funding over the three year initial collaboration period. BioNTech will take on global development and hold exclusive worldwide commercialization rights on any products resulting from the collaboration.
Crescendo will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones up to a total of more than $750m, in addition to tiered royalties on global net sales.
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, note the companies.
The modular nature of Humabodies make them particularly 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., CEO 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.”
Crescendo Biologics is a private, clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing novel, targeted T cell enhancing Humabody therapeutics.
Its lead proprietary candidate is CB307, a novel half-life extended CD137 x PSMA Humabody for the selective activation of tumor-specific T cells exclusively within the tumor microenvironment. CB307 is designed to achieve a longer lasting anti-cancer effect whilst avoiding systemic toxicity, and the clinical programme for CB307 is underway in patients with PSMA positive solid tumors.
The ability to develop multi-functional Humabody therapeutics is based on a patent protected, transgenic mouse platform generating fully human VH domain building blocks (Humabody VH). These robust molecules can be configured to engage therapeutic targets in such a way that they deliver novel pharmacology and superior bio-distribution. This can lead to larger therapeutic windows compared to conventional IgG approaches. Humabody-based formats can also be applied across a range of non- cancer indications.