BioNTech takes over cancer immunotherapy platform

Mainz-based BioNTech is expanding its portfolio for cancer therapies with the neoantigen TCR Cell Therapy R&D pipeline and manufacturing site from Gilead Science subsidiary Kite Pharmaceuticals.


After its impressive performance bringing the first mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 to market, BioNTech SE is strengthening its portfolio in the area of cancer immunotherapies. BioNTech’s management has agreed with the Californian Gilead Science to take over the complete portfolio of autologous TCR cell therapy candidates against solid tumors from its subsidiary Kite Pharmaceuticals and its US production facility.

The companies did not name a price tag for the transaction, which should be completed at the end of July. With the takeover of Kite’s production facility in Gaithersburg, BioNTech is expanding its manufacturing capacities for clinical studies in the main US market. In its production facility in Idar-Oberstein, BioNTech already produces mRNA-based cancer vaccines based on the company’s own CARVac (CAR-T Cell amplifying mRNA vaccine) and NEOSTIM platforms. So far, only CAR-T therapies for blood cancer have been approved, but solid tumours make up 90% of the market. With the acquisition of Kites Neoantigen TCR platform, according to CEO Ugur Sahin, the Mainz-based company is strengthening its presence in the United States as well as the integration of neoantigen TCR therapies that may strengthen the immune response against cancer, which began last year with the acquisition of Neon Therapeutics

“The development of individualised cancer therapies is at the core of our work at BioNTech,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech. “The acquisition of the Kite facility and its individualised TCR platform allows us to accelerate the clinical development of our cell therapies in the US and advance at the forefront of individualised cell therapies.”


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