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The companies entered a multi-year R&D collaboration to develop mRNA-based flu vaccines.
On Aug. 16, 2018, BioNTech AG, a biotechnology company focused on immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease, announced that it has entered into a multi-year R&D collaboration with Pfizer to develop mRNA-based flu vaccines.
Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech and Pfizer will jointly conduct R&D activities to help advance mRNA-based flu vaccines. Pfizer will assume sole responsibility for further clinical development and commercialization of the vaccines following BioNTech’s completion of a first in-human clinical study.
BioNTech will receive $120 million in upfront, equity, and near-term research payments and up to an additional $305 million in potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments. Additionally, BioNTech will receive up to double-digit tiered royalty payments associated with worldwide sales if the program reaches commercialization.
“Innovative vaccine approaches are urgently needed to provide improved protection against seasonal flu, and to respond rapidly and in quantity to pandemic influenza threats,” said Kathrin Jansen, senior vice-president and head of Pfizer’s Vaccine Research and Development Unit, in a company press release. “mRNA vaccines offer a novel approach to code for any protein or multiple proteins, and the potential to manufacture higher potency flu vaccines more rapidly and at a lower cost than contemporary flu vaccines. BioNTech is one of the industry leaders in mRNA technology and we are looking forward to working closely with them to help bring cutting-edge mRNA influenza vaccines to the market to improve people’s lives.”