BioNtech swallows MAB Discovery antibody unit

Immunoncology and vaccine specialist BioNTech AG is broadening its antibody discovery capabilities by acquiring MAB Discovery’s antibody generation unit.  


Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech will acquire all assets, employees and proprietary know-how for mAb generation from MAB Discovery. However, MAB Discovery will retain ownership of and all rights to both its proprietary preclinical development pipeline and its existing third-party service agreements. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition will be completed by the end Q1/2019.

With the deal BioNtech complements its portfolio of technologies to generate a pipeline of bi-specific T cell engaging antibodies, individualised mRNA-based cancer vaccines, and adoptive T-cell therapies. Specifically, BioNtech will use MAB Discovery’s platform together with proprietary technologies to generate mRNA-encoded intracellulary expressed antibodies for adoptive cell therapies.

"The technology will be utilised with our existing proprietary platforms including RiboMABS®, a platform for generating a novel class of mRNA-encoded antibody drug candidates,” said Ugur Sahin, CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech. In 2017, BioNTech reported on the application of this technology for mRNA-based in vivo delivery of T cell-engaging bispecific antibodies for the potential treatment of cancer.

The sell-off of its service unit reflects a strategic move of MAB Discovery. “MAB Discovery will now focus on further developing its proprietary mAbs with external partners,” explained Dr. Stephan Fischer, CEO of MAB Discovery.


Sign up for our newsletter!