f-star Biotechnologische announced the signing of a collaboration and license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for joint discovery of new antibody-derived therapeutic products based on f-star’s Modular Antibody Technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will nominate up to seven disease targets, which may be involved in more than one disease, against which the parties will collaborate to jointly discover antibody fragments called Fcabs, for further development and commercialisation by Boehringer Ingelheim.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vienna-based f-star will receive an initial technology access fee and research-based funding, and is eligible to receive additional license fees, development, regulatory and commercial milestones and undisclosed tiered royalties on the sales of any products.
Boehringer Ingelheim may select several therapeutic products from each of seven discovery programmes and the total payment to f-star for each of these programmes, excluding any royalties, could be up to €180 million if a number of products get to market. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Kevin FitzGerald, CEO of f-star said, “f-star has developed novel technology for the discovery of antibody-based products that are clearly differentiated from conventional antibodies and other protein-based drugs. This partnership will enable f-star to expand the exploitation of this technology by combining with the impressive global research and development capabilities and resources of Boehringer Ingelheim.”
f-star was co-founded by Florian Rueker around antibody engineering technology he developed at the Institute of Applied Microbiology in Vienna. This Modular Antibody Technology makes it possible to engineer antigen-binding sites into the Fc region of antibodies, whilst retaining all the native properties of this part of the molecule. The result is an antibody fragment, which f-star calls an Fcab, with full antibody functionality and long half-life but of one third the size of a classical antibody.
Since its founding in 2006 the company has raised €19.0 million from Atlas Venture, Aescap Venture, Novo Ventures, TVM Capital, Merck Serono Ventures and MP Healthcare Venture Management.