Drugs Medical Pharma

BioNTech, Duality Biologics sign $1.5 billion pact for cancer drugs

BioNTech SE and Duality Biologics (Suzhou) have signed a $1.5 billion deal to develop and commercialise two cancer antibody drug candidates.

HQ Team

April 3, 2023: BioNTech SE and Duality Biologics (Suzhou) have signed a $1.5 billion deal to develop and commercialise two cancer antibody drug candidates.

DualityBio will receive upfront payments for asset licenses totaling $170 million and additional development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for both candidates.

The deal is potentially worth more than $1.5 billion, according to a joint statement.

DualityBio will be eligible to receive single-digit to double-digit tiered royalties on net sales for both assets.

BioNTech, a German-based firm, will hold commercial rights globally, excluding Mainland China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Macau Special Administrative Region.

DualityBio will retain commercial rights for the excluded regions.


As part of the agreement for DB-1311, one of the candidates, DualityBio, has the right to exercise a co-development cost and “profit or loss sharing option” for DB-1311 in the US market.

The Chinese company will have “a co-promotion option for the US market,” according to the statement.

The antibody-drug therapy is meant to treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Unlike chemotherapy, ADCs are intended to target and kill tumor cells while sparing healthy cells. As of 2019, more than 50 pharmaceutical companies were developing ADCs.

They will become an additional drug class in BioNTech’s oncology portfolio to develop highly productive therapies for cancer patients at every stage of the disease.


The second drug DB-1303 received the Fast Track designation from the USFDA and is currently in phase 2 clinical trials. Both drugs are used as combination therapies in solid tumors.

“Over the last years, the ADC field has made significant progress, overcoming several limitations and demonstrating its potential as a broadly applicable precision medicine drug class that might be an alternative to standard chemotherapy,” said Prof Augur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech.

BioNTech and its partners are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. 

BioNTech has a set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Regeneron, Genevant, Fosun Pharma, and Pfizer.

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