Lilly Commits to Cancer Immunotherapy with $300M+ Deal

May 12, 2015

Eli Lilly and and Germany's BioNTech AG have entered into a research collaboration to discover novel cancer immunotherapies.

Leveraging the scientific expertise between the two organizations, Lilly and BioNTech will collaborate to identify and validate novel tumor targets and their corresponding T cell receptors (TCRs) in one or more types of cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech will receive a $30 million signing fee. For each potential medicine, BioNTech could receive over $300 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones. If successfully commercialized, BioNTech would also be eligible for tiered royalty payments up to double-digits. In addition, subject to the terms of the agreement, Lilly will make a $30 million equity investment in BioNTech's subsidiary, Cell & Gene Therapies GmbH, which specializes in the research and development of TCR and chimeric antigen receptor immunotherapeutics.

The collaboration is another step in Lilly's growing interest in oncology. Last summer, Lilly and Immunocore entered into a co-discovery and co-development collaboration to research and potentially develop novel T cell-based cancer therapies. Lilly's Cyramza has recent approvals in advanced or metastatic forms of three of the world's most common and deadly cancers - gastric, non-small cell lung, and colorectal.

Read the Eli Lilly press release