BioNTech and China-based MediLink Therapeutics announced a collaboration this week that will center on the development of an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting the human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3).
Under the terms of the agreement, MediLink has granted BioNTech exclusive global rights for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of one of its ADC assets (excluding Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau). In return, BioNTech will hand MediLink an upfront payment of $70 million, with potential additional milestone payments which could collectively surpass $1 billion.
HER3 is a drug target over expressed in various cancer types, including non-small cell lung cancer and breast cancer. It is closely associated with tumor metastasis and disease progression. Because HER3 expression escalates after initial drug therapy, it has become an sought after target for cancer treatment. MediLink's ADC candidate has shown promising efficacy and safety in various preclinical tumor models.
MediLink Therapeutics propietary Tumor Microenvironment Activable LINker-payload (TMALIN) ADC technology platform allows for the creation of homogeneous ADCs and enhancing the therapeutic window in the treatment of solid tumors. Several ADC products based on this platform have already progressed to the clinical trial stage.