Partnering News: AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Biotheus and Cellectis 

A roundup of bio/pharmaceutical partnering news from AstraZeneca/Cellectis and BioNTech/Biotheus. 

BioNTech, Biotheus In Potential $1-Bn Oncology Drug Pact
* AstraZeneca To Make $220 M in Equity Investments in Cellectis as part of Development Deal

BioNTech, Biotheus In Potential $1-Bn Oncology Drug Pact  
BioNTech and Biotheus, a clinical-stage bio/pharmaceutical company, have entered a global license and collaboration agreement for PM8002, an oncology drug, in a deal worth up to $1 billion ($55 million upfront, $1 billion in milestone payments.) 

Under the agreement, BioNTech will develop, manufacture and commercialize PM8002 globally in ex-Greater China, whereas Biotheus retains the rights to PM8002 in Greater China.  

Under the agreement, Biotheus will receive an upfront payment of $55 million, and is eligible to receive additional development, regulatory and sales milestone payments potentially totaling over $1 billion as well as tiered royalties on potential future product sales. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) Antitrust Improvements Act, and regulatory clearances. 

Source: Biotheus 

AstraZeneca To Make $220 M in Equity Investments in Cellectis as part of Development Deal 
AstraZeneca and Cellectis, a bio/pharmaceutical company focused on CAR-T therapies, have entered into (i) a joint research collaboration agreement, (ii) an investment agreement for an initial equity investment of $80 million, and (iii) a memorandum of understanding for an additional equity investment of $140M. 

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will use Cellectis’ gene editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to design cell and gene therapy candidate products. 25 genetic targets have been exclusively reserved for AstraZeneca, from which up to 10 candidate products could be explored for development. AstraZeneca will have an option for a worldwide exclusive license on the candidate products, to be exercised before investigational new drug (IND) filing. 

Cellectis’ research costs under the collaboration will be funded by AstraZeneca and Cellectis will receive an upfront payment of $25 million. Cellectis is also eligible to receive an IND option fee and development, regulatory and sales-related milestone payments, ranging from $70 million up to $220 million, per each of the 10 candidate products, plus tiered royalties. 

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca has agreed to make an initial equity investment of $80M in Cellectis. Under the MOU, AstraZeneca will make a potential further equity investment in Cellectis of $140M. The MOU is non-binding and the additional investment remains to be confirmed by both parties following a consultation process with Cellectis’ works council. If confirmed, the closing of the Additional Investment will remain subject to closing conditions. 

Source: Cellectis