MediLink Therapeutics, BioNTech expand partnership with new $1.8bn agreement

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MediLink Therapeutics (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., a prominent clinical-stage biotech company, has entered into a significant new strategic collaboration with BioNTech SE, a leader in next-generation immunotherapy. This collaboration involves an exclusive option for BioNTech to secure a global license to utilize MediLink’s innovative TMALIN antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform for several novel targets.

A Lucrative Collaboration

Under the terms of the agreement, MediLink Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment of $25 million from BioNTech. Additionally, MediLink is eligible to receive up to $1.8 billion in development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments, along with tiered royalties on potential future global annual net sales. This financial arrangement highlights the substantial economic benefits and the strategic importance of the partnership between the two companies.

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Strategic Rights and Future Collaborations

As part of this expansive agreement, MediLink retains the right of first negotiation for any future collaboration on these ADC product candidates if BioNTech decides to exclusively license or assign rights in specific markets. These markets include Mainland China alone or together with one or more of the regions such as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Macau SAR, or Taiwan region. This clause ensures that MediLink maintains a strategic foothold in significant Asian markets, potentially boosting its regional influence and business operations.

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Building on Previous Successes

The collaboration builds on the successful October 2023 strategic partnership and global license agreement between MediLink and BioNTech to develop BNT326/YL202, a next-generation anti-HER3 ADC. The decision to expand their collaboration underscores the mutual confidence and commitment to further explore and innovate in the ADC field, which is rapidly gaining attention for its potential in cancer therapy and other serious diseases.

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Future Prospects and Impact

This expanded collaboration not only strengthens the bond between MediLink and BioNTech but also sets a robust foundation for future research and development in the ADC arena. The agreement is expected to accelerate the development of novel therapies, enhancing both companies’ portfolios and reinforcing their positions in the global biotechnology industry.

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