The global collaboration will consist of two parts: BioNTech will receive a global, exclusive license to develop and commercialize Ryvu's STING agonist portfolio as standalone small molecules, including as monotherapy and in therapeutic combinations.
In addition, BioNTech and Ryvu will jointly undertake drug discovery and research projects to develop multiple small molecule programs aimed at exclusive targets selected by BioNTech, mainly focused on immune modulation within oncology, with potential applications in other disease areas.
BioNTech has the option to license global development and commercialization rights to the programs at the development stage, the companies said.
Under the agreement, BioNTech will pay €20M upfront in exchange for certain rights to Ryvu’s STING agonist portfolio as standalone small molecules and for certain rights and options to license multiple small molecule programs as part of a multi-target research collaboration. In addition, BioNTech has committed to make an equity investment of €20M.
BioNTech will fund discovery, research and development activities, including Ryvu's discovery and research activities. Ryvu will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments, plus royalties on any products commercialized under the partnership.
"Small molecules targeting novel immune signaling pathways have a great potential to increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies," said BioNTech Co-Founder and CEO Ugur Sahin. "The collaboration with Ryvu provides us with the opportunity to complement our immunotherapy pipeline with a portfolio of potent immunomodulatory molecules."