Deal announcement

goetzpartners advised Autolus

12. février 2024

goetzpartners advised Autolus on its strategic CAR-T cell therapy collaboration with BioNTech

goetzpartners advised Autolus Therapeutics Plc ("Autolus") on its strategic CAR-T cell therapy collaboration with BioNTech SE ("BioNTech") to advance their pipeline and expand late-stage programs. BioNTech, a next-generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases, and Autolus, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation programmed T cell therapies, announced a strategic collaboration aimed at advancing both companies’ autologous CAR-T programs towards commercialisation, pending regulatory authorisations. In connection with the strategic collaboration, the companies entered into a license and option agreement and a securities purchase agreement.

BioNTech has agreed to purchase $200 million of Autolus’ American Depositary Shares in a private placement. BioNTech will have a right to appoint a director to the Board of Autolus.

Under the terms of the license and option agreement, BioNTech will make a cash payment of $50 million and is granted the following rights in exchange:

  • BioNTech is eligible to receive an up to mid-single digit royalty on obe-cel net sales. Autolus will retain full rights to and control of the development and commercialisation of obe-cel.
  • BioNTech has the option to access Autolus’ commercial and clinical site network, manufacturing capacities in the United Kingdom and commercial supply infrastructure in a cost-efficient set-up in order to accelerate the development of BNT211 in additional CLDN6+ tumor types. BioNTech plans to have 10 or more ongoing potentially registrational clinical trials in the pipeline by the end of 2024E, including its fully owned CLDN6 CAR-T program BNT211 in relapsed or refractory germ cell tumors.
  • Autolus will lead the development and commercialisation for AUTO1/22 and AUTO6NG in any oncology indication with BioNTech having an option to support certain development activities and co-commercialise both candidates in certain territories. If BioNTech exercises an option, it will receive a profit share with respect to such exercised product candidate worldwide while Autolus will be eligible to receive an option exercise fee, milestone payments and co-funding of development expenses.
  • Autolus granted BioNTech an exclusive license to develop and commercialise therapeutics incorporating certain of Autolus’ proprietary binders along with options to license binders and cell programming technology for use in BioNTech’s in vivo cell therapy development programs and investigational antibody-drug conjugates. If BioNTech exercises an option, Autolus will be eligible to receive exercise fees and milestones payments, with low-single digit royalties on net sales of the licensed products.

goetzpartners acted as financial advisors to Autolus. The transaction further emphasises our expertise in advising on transactions in the biopharma space.

About Autolus
Autolus is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation, programmed T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. Using a broad suite of proprietary and modular T cell programming technologies, Autolus is engineering precisely targeted, controlled and highly active T cell therapies that are designed to better recognize target cells, break down their defense mechanisms and eliminate these cells. Autolus has a pipeline of product candidates in development for the treatment of hematological malignancies, solid tumors and autoimmune diseases.

About BioNTech
BioNTech is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. BioNTech exploits a wide array of computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms for the rapid development of novel biopharmaceuticals. Its broad portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, several protein-based therapeutics, including bispecific immune checkpoint modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, as well as small molecules. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, BioNTech and its collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases alongside its diverse oncology pipeline. BioNTech has established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Duality Biologics, Fosun Pharma, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Genevant, Genmab, OncoC4, Regeneron and Pfizer.

Transaction team: 

Ulrich Kinzel
Managing Director

Youchen Xin
Associate Director

Alexandra Walsh

Edoardo Nappi