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BioNTech, DualityBio Ink $170M Licensing Deal for Two Antibody-Drug Conjugates

NEW YORK – BioNTech and DualityBio on Monday announced a licensing agreement for two antibody-drug conjugates, DB-1303 and DB-1311.

Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech will pay DualityBio $170 million upfront. In exchange, BioNTech will gain exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize Duality's HER2-directed candidate DB-1303, which is already in Phase II trials for advanced HER2-expressing solid cancers, as well as the newer agent DB-1311, a topoisomerase-1 inhibitor-based antibody-drug conjugate that has not yet entered the clinic. 

DualityBio will also be eligible for development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments potentially totaling over $1.5 billion and single-digit to double-digit tiered royalties on potential future sales.

The global deal excludes mainland China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Macau Special Administrative Region, where DualityBio will retain rights to the agents.

"This is a recognition of not only DualityBio's next-generation ADC platform but also its internal discovery and development capabilities," DualityBio Founder and CEO John Zhu said in a statement.

DualityBio's platform, Duality Immune Toxin Antibody Conjugates (DITAC), involves a propriety linker-technology. For DB-1303, the technology has been shown to exhibit antitumor activity, a favorable safety profile, and potentially expanded therapeutic window in both HER2-positive and HER2-low tumor models. Duality believes that its antibody-drug conjugates can address unmet medical needs in various HER2-expressing cancers.