Medigene Cooperates With Biontech


The Martinsried-based Medigene AG and the Mainz-based Biontech announced on Monday after the German stock market close a cooperation that includes an upfront payment from Mainz for the in-licensing of various TCR (T cell receptor) molecules and associated molecular combination technologies from the Martinsried-based company – and which is a little after ” Last minute rescue”.


As part of the agreement, which initially has a term of three years, Medigene will receive an upfront payment of EUR 26 million and reimbursement of research costs for the duration of the collaboration. Biontech will be responsible for global development and will have exclusive worldwide commercialization rights for all TCR therapies resulting from the collaboration. Medigene is entitled to development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to three-digit millions per program.


Medigene is thus entering into a fairly extensive technological partnership and will bring its proprietary TCR discovery platform to the collaboration to develop TCRs against various targets selected by Biontech to address a variety of solid tumors. At the same time, Biontech is acquiring Medigene’s latest preclinical TCR program, which combines the PRAME-targeted TCR-4 from Medigene’s MDG10XX program with Medigene’s proprietary PD1-41BB switch receptor technology. Biontech also has the exclusive option to acquire additional existing TCRs from Medigene’s research pipeline and receives licenses to Medigene’s PD1-41BB switch receptor and precision pairing library. These technologies offer the opportunity to further increase the effectiveness of TCR therapies and can be applied to all of Biontech’s cell therapy programs. The PD1-41BB switch technology changes the checkpoint inhibition pathway used by cancer cells to an activation signaling pathway, thereby reducing the immune resistance of solid tumors.


A look at the German biotechnology history book reveals other perspectives on this resurrection of a company steeped in tradition: the Mainz-based company Biontech no longer needs to be introduced to anyone. The fact that the vaccine heroes actually started with the focus on developing new therapies for cancer is more likely. The almost 30-year-old biotech company Medigene should actually be known to everyone in Germany’s small biotechnology sector, but recently the refrain from the “Holzmichl song” may have come to mind for some people – it had become very quiet . Not quiet in the sense that the company was not talked about extensively in the market place for bubbling rumors in Martinsried’s lunch stands, but rather quiet in the sense that almost all familiar faces had left the company since a new chief financial officer only responded to the Sp(ß)r Bremse kicked. All of them, except for CEO Dolores Schendel, who, since the immunotherapeutic transformation of Medigene through the acquisition of Trianta Immunotherapies, which was only a few months old, in 2013/14, has experienced a steep learning curve in the international board boy groups of the Biotechnology and investor circles with their scientific reputation, which continues to be excellent internationally, had rekindled interest in this company from Martinsried. Because the Veregen genital wart ointment and many a product that was approved but quickly passed on never really had a lasting impact.


But this new beginning was already a few years ago. Many waves of immunotherapy have swept through the scene. Patience with interesting, scientifically sophisticated approaches that are being developed on the clinical back burner, has to be developed, is limited in the relevant circles. Many have been waiting for the “big deal” for some time and because this didn’t happen, there has been a strong migration in management, business development and research departments. The fact that some have already given up hope may be illustrated by the falling stock market price, which remained at less than 2 euros before the announcement.


The Biontech injection has already turned the course strongly once, to +56% and 3.2 euros in the evening overseas trade, then came Putin. And this morning you are around 4 euros in a doubling and may wonder where this is headed, but also how long it will last. Biontech as a partner does not come as a complete surprise for reasons other than the thematic proximity in oncology, since Medigene has had the T-cell products manufactured in the former Eufets production facility (today Biontech IMFS) in Idar-Oberstein for some time. Since Biontech already has two branches on the southern outskirts of Munich u

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