BioNTech has announced a planned acquisition of London-based InstaDeep in a deal that will see £362 million in cash and BioNTech shares, excluding the shares already owned by BioNTech with InstaDeep shareholders eligible to receive additional performance-based future milestone payments up to approximately £200 million.
The move will allow the German biopharma company to rapidly incorporate a number of Instadeep’s validated and novel BioNTech-trained AI- and ML-based models across BioNTech’s discovery platforms and connected, through InstaDeep’s DeepChain platform, to an integrated automated lab infrastructure.
Ultimately, this means that BioNTech, which was focusing on cancer treatments prior to shooting to stardom through its partnership with pfizer, developing the omnipresent COVID-19 vaccine, can now develop more, faster, and perhaps even better than ever before.
The acquisition is more of a formality at this point, as the two companies have a track record that extends back nearly four years now. In November 2020, the companies announced a collaboration and joint AI Innovation Lab that has been aimed at applying the latest advances in AI and ML technology to develop novel medicines for a range of cancers and infectious diseases. Through this collaboration one result has included the development of an early-warning system for new Covid variants.
Likewise, in January 2022, BioNTech participated in Instadeep’s $100 million Series B round.
“Since the inception of BioNTech, we have focused on leveraging computational solutions to create personalized immunotherapies that can reach a wide patient population,” said Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder at BioNTech. “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. Our aim is to make BioNTech a technology company where AI is seamlessly integrated into all aspects of our work.”