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2024-06-06| Asia-PacificChina

MediLink and BioNTech Sign $1.8 Billion ADC Deal to Expand Cancer Therapy Innovations

by Diana Shih
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A woman in hospital room suffering from cancer

In a significant advancement for cancer therapy, China’s MediLink Therapeutics (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. and Germany’s BioNTech SE have signed a major agreement valued at potentially over $1.8 billion. This collaboration aims to leverage MediLink’s TMALIN® antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform to develop novel cancer treatments.

On May 26, 2024, MediLink Therapeutics announced the new partnership with BioNTech, which builds upon their initial collaboration from October 2023. Under this new agreement, BioNTech gains an exclusive option for a global license to use MediLink’s TMALIN® ADC platform for several novel targets. The deal includes an upfront payment of $25 million and additional milestone payments that could total up to $1.8 billion, along with tiered royalties on future global sales.

This partnership allows MediLink to hold the right of first negotiation for the future collaboration of these ADC product candidates if BioNTech wishes to exclusively license or assign rights for the Mainland China market, including Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, or Taiwan.

Building on Previous Success

The new deal extends the strategic collaboration between the two companies, which started in October 2023 with a $1 billion agreement to develop a next-generation anti-HER3 ADC candidate  . This expansion marks a deeper commitment to advancing ADC technology and enhancing treatment options for cancer patients worldwide.

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Significance of the Deal

For investors and drug developers, this collaboration represents a significant opportunity. The upfront and potential milestone payments underscore the high stakes and expectations surrounding the TMALIN® ADC platform. The technology offers a homogenous drug-antibody ratio and improved therapeutic window, promising more effective treatments for solid tumors.

For BioNTech, this agreement aligns with its strategy to expand its oncology portfolio and leverage cutting-edge technologies to develop novel therapies. For MediLink, the collaboration provides a pathway to global markets, enhancing its role in the global biotech landscape and accelerating the development of its ADC products.

Technical and Market Impact

The TMALIN® platform, developed by MediLink, features dual cleavage mechanisms that operate both extracellularly in the tumor microenvironment and intracellularly in lysosomes. This technology ensures high hydrophilicity, homogenous drug-antibody ratios, excellent plasma stability, and specific tumor accumulation, making it a promising candidate for developing effective cancer treatments .

HER3, a target involved in various cancers like non-small cell lung cancer and breast cancer, is overexpressed in these diseases and is linked to tumor metastasis and disease progression. The use of TMALIN® technology in targeting HER3 has shown promising results in preclinical studies, indicating potential for significant clinical benefits.

This landmark agreement between MediLink and BioNTech not only highlights the innovative potential of ADC technology but also sets a new standard for international biotech collaborations. By combining their strengths, the two companies aim to bring groundbreaking cancer therapies to patients worldwide, driving forward the future of oncology treatment.

References

  1. MediLink Therapeutics Official Announcement
  2. PharmaLive Announcement
  3. Fierce Biotech Article
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