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BioNTech to acquire UK AI start-up InstaDeep in deal worth over £560m

The deal will enable drug discovery and development of immunotherapies and vaccines


BioNTech has announced it will acquire UK AI start-up InstaDeep in a deal worth up to £562m, following the company’s initial equity investment as part of InstaDeep’s Series B financing round in January 2022.

The transaction includes an upfront payment of £362m in a mix of cash and BioNTech shares, with InstaDeep shareholders also eligible to receive additional performance-based future milestone payments up to approximately £200m.

BioNTech said in a statement that the acquisition supported its strategy to ‘build capabilities in AI-driven drug discovery and development of next-generation immunotherapies and vaccines to address diseases with high unmet medical need’.

“The acquisition of InstaDeep allows us to incorporate the rapidly evolving AI capabilities of the digital world into our technologies, research, drug discovery, manufacturing and deployment processes,” said Professor Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer and co-founder of BioNTech.

“Our aim is to make BioNTech a technology company where AI is seamlessly integrated into all aspects of our work,” Sahin added.

The transaction is expected to add approximately 240 highly skilled professionals to BioNTech’s workforce, including teams in AI, ML, bioengineering, data science and software development.

Karim Beguir, chief executive officer and co-founder of InstaDeep, said the company was “very excited to join forces and become one team with BioNTech, with whom [it shares] the same culture of deep tech innovation and focus on positive human impact”.

Beguir added: “Together, we envision building a world leader that combines biopharmaceutical research and AI with the aim to design next-generation immunotherapies that enhance medical care – thus, helping fight cancer and other diseases.”

The acquisition builds on the multi-year collaboration between the two companies, including a joint AI innovation lab to develop novel medicines for a range of cancers and infectious diseases.

Through the partnership, the companies have jointly developed multiple end-to-end AI-based applications trained on public and proprietary datasets across a wide variety of scientific domains.

These include projects to enhance neoantigen selection, ribological sequence optimisation for BioNTech’s RiboCytokine and RiboMab platforms, as well as the development of an early warning system to detect and monitor high-risk SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Article by
Emily Kimber

11th January 2023

From: Sales



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