Bayer will partner with BioNTech to develop novel, first-in-class mRNA vaccines and therapeutics for animal health indications, the companies said today, under a collaboration whose value was not disclosed.
Bayer agreed to secure exclusive rights to BioNTech’s mRNA technology and intellectual property for development of mRNA vaccines for animal health applications. BioNTech is also contributing its formulation and immunology know-how to the partnership, the companies said.
In return, BioNTech will gain exclusive access to Bayer’s expertise in veterinary medicine. BioNTech said new knowledge developed through the collaboration beyond animal health applications will benefit the company’s human health program.
The companies said their partnership is the first of its kind focused on developing mRNA therapeutics specifically for animal health applications.
“This alliance is in line with our strategy to collaborate with companies that share our passion for developing and commercializing truly innovative and disruptive prophylactic and therapeutic products that have a major impact on disease,” BioNTech founder and CEO Prof. Ugur Sahin, said in a statement.
Infectious disease vaccines is the focus of one of the three therapy platforms BioNTech is building through mRNA technologies; the other two are cancer immunotherapies and protein replacement. The three platforms are designed to produce pharmacologically optimized protein coding RNA for targeted in vivo delivery.
“We are very impressed with BioNTech, who have built a very promising and rapidly adaptable mRNA technology platform which represents a unique opportunity in the development of novel therapeutics and new vaccines to meet new disease challenges for both humans and animals,” added Sabine Bongaerts, Head of Drug Discovery Animal Health at Bayer.
Bayer will invest in the collaboration through its Bayer Lifescience Center, the pharma giant’s novel strategic innovation unit that directly reports to Bayer´s Board of Management. The Center’s mission includes enabling partnerships with entrepreneurial best-in-class biotechnology companies to uncover, encourage, and unlock fundamental scientific and medical breakthroughs more rapidly.