f-star inks EUR1.26bn antibody development deal with Boehringer Ingelheim
Vienna – Boehringer Ingelheim has secured access to another promising antibody technology through a licence and development deal with Austrian f-star Biotechnologische Forschungs-und Entwicklungsges.m.b.H worth up to EUR1.26bn. Under the terms of this largest deal ever achieved by an Austrian biotech company, f-star will develop antibodies based on its proprietary Modular Antibody Technology (MAT) against 7 targets selected by the German drugmaker. Albeit the amount of the upfront payment was not disclosed it was announced that Boehringer is to pay up to EUR180m for every successful programme including research-based funding, licence fees, development, regulatory and commercial milestones plus royalties on product sales. The collaboration will focus on two proprietary antibody format of f-star – FCABs and MAB2. FCABs are antibody fragments with full functionality but only one third of the size of full-lengh monoclonal antibodies, MAB2 are full length bi-specific IgG antibodies with 2 additional functionalities engineered into the constant CDR regions. The market for therapeutic mABs reached global revenues of $36.4bn last year and is estimated to expand to $62,7bn until 2015, according to Datamonitor analyses. Besides the Boehringer contract F-star has been running 10 antibody programmes in-house since it was spun-off from Vienna-based BOKU.