The two companies partnered up in 2015 on the joint development of biospecific cancer antibodies aimed at improving immunotherapy options for cancer patients. The expanded collaboration will see the German mRNA specialist and Denmark-headquartered biotech focus on researching, developing and commercializing novel monospecific antibody candidates for various cancer indications.
“The expansion of our collaboration with Genmab extends our antibody portfolio and will further strengthen our oncology pipeline in indications with high unmet medical needs,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and co-founder of BioNTech. “We are committed to working together with our colleagues at Genmab to develop new treatments for people affected by cancer.”
Genmab's HexaBody platform
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. This candidate 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.
Meanwhile, the companies already have two jointly developed investigational medicines which have been in clinical testing since 2019, fusing BioNTech’s proprietary immunomodulatory antibodies and Genmab’s DuoBody technology platform. GEN1046/BNT311 is being evaluated in Phase 1/2 clinical trials for the treatment of advanced solid tumors (NCT04937153, NCT03917381), and in a Phase 2 study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (NCT05117242).
GEN1042/BNT312 is being evaluated for the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced solid tumors in a Phase 1/2 study (NCT04083599).