Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

BioNTech strengthens cancer therapy expertise with U.S. acquisition

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The new logo of German biotech firm BioNTech is seen outside the company's headquarters in Mainz, Germany, September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

BERLIN, July 19 (Reuters) - BioNTech (22UAy.DE), said it was acquiring a production site and a research and development platform from a subsidiary of U.S. biotech company Gilead (GILD.O) to expand its footprint in north America and in novel cancer treatments.

The German biotech firm on Monday said it was buying a solid tumour neoantigen T-cell receptor therapy (TCR-Ts) R&D platform and a manufacturing plant in the city of Gaithersburg in the state of Maryland from Kite Pharma.

T-cell receptors (TCRs) are a class of compounds that make it easier for the body’s immune cells to identify and destroy cancer cells, while TCR-Ts detect targets both inside and outside the cancer cells.

The acquisition will expand BioNTech's pipeline in individualized cell therapies for cancer patients and add to its existing manufacturing capacities in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, it said.

Kite Pharma will receive a one-time upfront payment, BioNtech said without giving further details.

The deal is expected to close by the end of July, 2021.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa Editing by Kirsti Knolle

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