CellmAbs S.A. (“CellmAbs”), a Portuguese biotech company founded in 2019 and focused on the research and development of cancer-specific therapies, announced that it has entered into a patent assignment and license agreement with BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”), a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, BioNTech will acquire one of CellmAbs’ pre-clinical antibody candidates and additional ADC technology. CellmAbs will be receiving upfront and near-term payments and may be eligible to receive several hundred million US Dollars in milestone payments. The deal also includes tiered royalty payments.
Having raised only a single seed investment of 1.6 million US Dollars in June 2019, CellmAbs achieved significant scientific and development milestones in just over three years. “The accomplishments of CellmAbs are a testament to our efficiency in strategy execution and resource utilization, combined with our commitment to scientific discovery and drug development.” – said Nuno Prego Ramos, co-founder and CEO of CellmAbs. “It also shows the potential of Portuguese biotech companies to be at the forefront of global medical innovation.”
Following this transaction, CellmAbs will undergo a structured phase-out, leading to a successful exit for all shareholders. The investors of CellmAbs are particularly optimistic about this deal, given the potential for significant commercial payments that could mark this as Portugal’s first billion-dollar transaction in the life sciences sector.
As an integral part of this strategic move, the founders are already starting a new venture, which is currently being developed. “We are excited about having validated our approach to cancer-specific targets and are committed to continuing our work on innovative treatments for oncology and longevity in our new company,” stated Nuno Prego Ramos.
Founded in 2019 as a spin-off from NOVA University of Lisbon, CellmAbs specializes in developing novel monoclonal antibodies targeting cancer-specific antigens, focusing on antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific T-cell engagers, and cell therapies. CellmAbs has developed several preclinical candidates based on its leading understanding of cancer-specific antigens. CellmAbs is the result of successful translational research collaboration between NOVA University, the Portuguese Institute of Oncology Porto (IPO), and Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) in Germany. Co-founded by Nuno Prego Ramos and Prof. Paula Videira, CellmAbs is supported by two major Life Science Venture Capital firms in Portugal, Portugal Ventures and Bionova Capital. The team, comprising international and experienced scientists, collaborates with biotech/pharma companies and clinical institutes to advance its pipeline.
January 11, 2024