Under the collaboration, the two companies will jointly develop several small molecule programmes, primarily targeting immune modulation in cancer, and beyond
German biotechnology company BioNTech has entered into a €40m multi-target research collaboration with Polish biopharmaceutical company Ryvu Therapeutics.
Under the collaboration, the two companies will jointly develop several small molecule programmes, primarily targeting immune modulation in cancer, and beyond.
In addition, BioNTech will receive a global, exclusive license to develop and commercialise Ryvu’s STING agonist portfolio as standalone small molecules.
The company will fund all the discovery, research, and development activities, including Ryvu’s discovery and research activities under the multi-target research collaboration.
Also, it can license the global rights to global development and commercialisation of these programs at the development candidate stage.
The German biotech company will make a €20m upfront payment to Ryvu and has committed to making €20m equity investment in the company.
Ryvu is also eligible to receive certain development, regulatory and commercialisation milestone payments, along with low single-digit royalties on the annual net sales.
BioNTech chief executive officer and co-founder Ugur Sahin said: “Small molecules targeting novel immune signalling pathways have a great potential to increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies.
“The collaboration with Ryvu provides us with the opportunity to complement our immunotherapy pipeline with a portfolio of potent immunomodulatory molecules.”
STING pathway plays an important role during infections and autoimmune diseases, and is one of the innate immunity pathways responsible for antitumor immunity.
The therapeutic targeting of STING leads to the activation of innate and adaptive immune responses and is a potential new target for cancer therapies.
In preclinical studies, Ryvu’s STING agonists activated all STING haplotypes and led to high activation of proinflammatory cytokine production and long-lasting immune responses.
Ryvu chief executive officer Paweł Przewięźlikowski said: “Ryvu is excited to bring its expertise in immuno-oncology to work with a global leader in the development of immunomodulatory targeted therapies.
“BioNTech’s expertise in immunomodulatory mechanisms is a great match for Ryvu’s platform, and we fully expect to develop differentiated, therapeutically effective and safe molecules with our combined expertise.”