LEVERKUSEN and MAINZ, Germany, May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Bayer and BioNTech AG, a leading immunotherapy company headquartered in Mainz, Germany have entered into an agreement to develop novel, first-in-class mRNA vaccines and therapeutics specifically for Animal Health applications. BioNTech will contribute its proprietary mRNA technology platform, formulation development capabilities, immunology expertise and intellectual property; while Bayer's Animal Health unit will provide its development expertise and disease know-how. This is the first partnership of its kind making a substantial investment in mRNA therapeutics specifically for Animal Health applications.
Through the agreement, Bayer secures exclusive rights to use BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology and intellectual property for development of mRNA vaccines for Animal Health applications, while BioNTech gains exclusive access to Bayer's extensive expertise and knowledge in veterinary medicine. Newly created know-how from the collaboration beyond Animal Health applications, will benefit BioNTech's extensive human health program.
The agreement is backed by an investment by the Bayer Lifescience Center (BLSC), which operates as a novel strategic innovation unit in Bayer, directly reporting to Bayer´s Board of Management. The BLSC has the mission to uncover, encourage and unlock fundamental scientific and medical breakthroughs more rapidly by enabling innovative partnerships with entrepreneurial best-in-class biotechnology companies.
Sabine Bongaerts, Head of Drug Discovery Animal Health at Bayer said: "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. It is really exciting to be able to combine cutting-edge technology, scientific excellence and veterinary R&D and disease knowledge to provide new solutions to protect the health of companion and farm animals".
"Bayer's exceptional development expertise, commercial reach and worldwide network of R&D sites, combined with our broad suite of breakthrough mRNA technologies, represent an extraordinary opportunity to address existing and emerging diseases and protect the health of companion and production animals," commented Prof. Ugur Sahin, Founder and CEO of BioNTech. "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".
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About The Bayer Lifescience Center:
The BLSC is a new R&D unit of Bayer that focuses entirely on the development of ultimate breakthroughs across species by creating a novel platform that allows technology combination and know-how amplification. Initially, the BLSC will tackle fundamental challenges through a network of external collaborative partnerships with the focus on promising new technologies to cure diseases and to take responsibility for the growing world population.
BioNTech AG is an immunotherapy leader with bench-to-market capabilities, developing truly personalized, well-tolerated and potent treatments for cancer and other diseases. Established by clinicians and scientists, the Group is pioneering disruptive technologies ranging from individualized mRNA based medicines through innovative Chimeric Antigen Receptors /T-cell Receptor-based products and novel antibody immunomodulators. BioNTech's clinical programs are supported by an in-house molecular diagnostics unit whose products include MammaTyper®, a molecular in-vitro diagnostic kit marketed under CE and IVD marking in Europe and certain other countries. Founded in 2008, BioNTech is privately held and shareholders include the MIG Fonds, Salvia, and the Strüngmann Family Office, with the Strüngmann Family Office as the majority shareholder. Information about BioNTech is available at http://www.biontech.de.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life:
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to http://www.bayer.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at http://www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
For more information, please contact:
Hume Brophy (for BioNTech AG)
Mary Clark, Eva Haas, Alexia Faure
Bayer Animal Health GmbH
SOURCE BioNTech AG