Biontech joins artificial intelligence race through Instadeep

Biontech has put a ring on its collaboration with the AI company Instadeep, with a £362m ($440m) cash and share buyout – its largest deal to date. Biontech has been an active investor in the company – formed in Tunisia and headquartered in London – participating in a 2022 $100m series B round alongside Google and Synergie. The two initiated their partnership in 2020, forming an AI innovation lab in London, followed by a 2022 collaboration to develop an early warning system to detect and monitor dangerous SARS-CoV-2 variants. The deal is part of growing interest in AI-driven drug discovery and development by biopharma companies. Recent deals include Sanofi’s $21.5m up-front research collaboration with Insilico Medicine, to develop up to six new drug candidates. The French group also signed a $100m five-year deal with Exscientia to develop up to 15 molecules last January. Last year Astrazeneca extended its four-year relationship with Benevolentai for another three years, adding research into heart failure and lupus to their work in chronic kidney disease and IPF. Expect more AI deals in future as biopharma companies continue to look for ways to lower costs, shorten development times and mitigate pricing pressure.

Biontech acquisitions
Date announced Company Deal Value  Business focus Location 
10/01/2023 Instadeep $440m Artificial intelligence London
09/11/2021 PhagoMed N/A Antimicrobial treatments Austria
16/01/2020 Neon Therapeutics $67m Neoantigen therapies USA

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