BioNTech, Crescendo Join Hands; Shares Rise 8.6%

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Biotechnology company BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with clinical-stage immuno-oncology company Crescendo Biologics Ltd. to develop novel immunotherapies for the treatment of patients with cancer and other diseases. The initial term of the agreement is for three years.

Following the news, shares of the company rose 8.6% on Monday. However, the stock pared its gains 1.7% to close at $226 in the extended trading session.

Under the terms of the agreement, Crescendo will receive an upfront payment of $40 million in the form of cash and equity, along with research funding, for the period of the collaboration.

Crescendo will also be eligible to receive $750 million, subject to the achievement of certain milestones.

Strategic Impact

The collaboration will entail Crescendo using its proprietary, transgenic platform to deliver fully human heavy-chain antibody domains, named humabodies, against targets nominated by BioNTech.

Humabodies are a novel class of therapeutics that retain the high-affinity binding and specificity of conventional therapeutic antibodies while providing additional advantages such as small size, enhanced tissue and tumor penetration. Specifically, the modular nature of Humabodies makes them apt for the development of multi-target immunotherapies.

Management Commentary

The CEO of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, said, “Crescendo’s platform provides excellent properties for exploiting novel targets and target combinations which we believe has great potential for the development of multi-specific mRNA and engineered cell-based therapies in a variety of disease areas. We are excited to begin working with Crescendo to further strengthen and expand our multimodal immunotherapy portfolio and deliver breakthrough precision medicines for patients.”

Price Target

Recently, Berenberg Bank analyst Zhiqiang Shu reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $400, which implies upside potential of 73.9% from current levels.

The Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 3 Buys and 8 Holds. The average BioNTech price target of $294.18 implies that the stock has upside potential of 27.9% from current levels. Shares have gained about 111.2% over the past year.

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