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BioNTech forms cancer immunotherapies partnership with UK Government

The collaboration will focus on providing up to 10,000 patients with personalised mRNA by 2030.

BioNTech has announced a partnership with the UK Government that aims to accelerate clinical trials for personalised mRNA immunotherapies.

The ultimate aim of the link-up will be to provide personalised cancer therapies for up to 10,000 patients by the end of 2030, either as authorised treatments or across clinical trials. It represents part of a multi-year collaboration that concentrates on three strategic pillars: cancer immunotherapies based on mRNA or other drug classes, infectious disease vaccines, and investments into expanding BioNTech’s presence in the UK.

To achieve these goals, the partnership aims to incorporate the UK’s clinical trial network, genomics and health data assets. The next steps will involve the selection of candidates, trial sites and the set-up of a development plan, with a view to enrolling the first cancer patient this year.

Professor Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer and co-founder of BioNTech, reflected: “The UK successfully delivered COVID-19 vaccines so quickly because the National Health Service, academia, the regulator and the private sector worked together in an exemplary way.”

He added: “This agreement is a result of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic as we all experience that drug development can be accelerated without cutting corners if everyone works seamlessly together towards the same goal. Today’s agreement shows that we are committed to doing the same for cancer patients.”

Meanwhile, during 2023, BioNTech also plans to invest in a UK Research and Development hub in Cambridge, with an expected capacity of more than 70 scientists. The company will also strengthen its UK footprint by setting up headquarters in London and continuing to sponsor clinical trials.