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BioNTech moves into ADCs with Duality deal

April 3, 2023

Armed with cash earned from sales of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer, BioNTech has been investing in cancer drug research and development — its primary focus prior to the pandemic.

While BioNTech specializes in messenger RNA, it also has built a pipeline of antibody drugs, too. Most recently, it spent $200 million for rights to a cancer immunotherapy from the biotechnology company OncoC4.

The deal with Duality adds ADCs to BioNTech’s pipeline, taking the company into a fast-growing field. ADCs pair a cell-killing toxin with a targeting compound designed to home in on tumors while sparing healthy tissue. The complex drugs have a long history, but pharmaceutical companies’ interest in them has grown over the past several years, buoyed by clinical trial successes.

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