4SC’s subsidiary 4SC Discovery has entered into a research and license agreement with BioNTech based in Mainz, Germany. Under the agreement, 4SC Discovery will receive from BioNTech an up-front payment of €2.5 million (approximately $3.3 million) for its new small molecule toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists as an anti-cancer immunotherapy. The program is currently in early development.
BioNTech will receive an exclusive license for worldwide marketing and commercialization rights of the TLR agonists. 4SC Discovery is eligible for shares of sublicensing proceeds of BioNTech, payments for specific sales milestones, as well as for royalties linked to product net sales.
“Our goal is now to speed up and jointly develop a novel breakthrough therapy toward the market addressing the high medical need in the exciting field of cancer immunotherapy,” said Daniel Vitt, Ph.D., managing director of 4SC Discovery and CSO at 4SC.
According to 4SC, this is the company’s first early-stage partnering deal with one of the programs from its research engine. “After having already secured a number of research service collaborations with biotech and pharma companies this year, this first licensing partnership of 4SC Discovery is another strong signal for the value generation potential of 4SC’s research,” said Ulrich Dauer, Ph.D., CEO of 4SC.
In October, 4SC Discovery won a €600,000 (approximately $791,000) grant to support a research collaboration with researchers at the Immune Pharmacology group at the Medical Clinic of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, focused on preclinical development of TLR7 and TLR8 agonists for cancer immunotherapy.
Earlier this year, 4SC Discovery launched a collaboration with Crelux and Ribological for the discovery and optimization of new anti-cancer drugs. The company also entered a research collaboration with Henkel in the area of compound screening.