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2023-11-08| ChinaPartnerships

Biotheus Collaborates with BioNTech for Global Development of Cancer Therapy

by Sinead Huang
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Biotheus Inc., a China-based clinical-stage biotech company, has announced a significant collaboration with BioNTech, a pioneering immunotherapy firm. The partnership aims to further the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of PM8002, a promising bispecific antibody candidate, for oncology applications. This collaboration will have a global reach, excluding Greater China, where Biotheus retains the rights to exploit PM8002. The therapeutic candidate is currently undergoing Phase 2 studies in China to assess its efficacy and safety in advanced solid tumor patients.

Related article: Merck Joins Forces with Daiichi Sankyo in $5.5 Billion Deal to Develop Cancer Drugs

Biotheus Set to Receive $55 Million and Potential Billion-Dollar Payout for PM8002

PM8002 is an innovative bispecific antibody candidate, featuring humanized anti-PD-L1 single heavy-chain variable (VHH) domains fused to an anti-VEGF-A IgG1 antibody with Fc-silencing mutations. The candidate has demonstrated a favorable safety profile and encouraging antitumor activity. Notably, it shows potential by reducing systemic toxicity and enhancing anti-VEGF activity in the tumor microenvironment, as presented at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting and ESMO Congress 2023.

Under the agreement, Biotheus is set to receive an upfront payment of $55 million from BioNTech. Additionally, the Chinese company becomes eligible for substantial payments linked to development, regulatory milestones, and sales, which could potentially amount to over $1 billion. The collaboration outlines tiered royalties for Biotheus on potential future sales of PM8002. The completion of the transaction is anticipated in Q4 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances and approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Vision and Future Prospects

Biotheus’ strategic alliance with BioNTech highlights a shared commitment to advancing the development of PM8002 and potentially making it accessible to patients worldwide. The partnership leverages Biotheus’ innovative platforms for antibody discovery and cell therapies, fostering progress in clinical trials. The future holds the promise of additional trials and research collaborations, ultimately expanding the reach and effectiveness of this oncology therapeutic.

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