2023 has undoubtedly been one of the most successful for BioInvent, if not the most successful. The company’s cancer treatment pipeline currently includes five drug candidates progressing through six clinical trials – and progress has been announced in all programmes during the year. However, in the current tough market dynamics for biotech, like many other companies, BioInvent is valued under cash. BioStock contacted CEO Martin Welschof to talk about the progress during 2023 and to learn about his expectations for next year.
BioInvent‘s focus is to identify and develop novel, first-in-class immuno-modulatory antibodies for cancer treatment. These drug candidates have completely new and unique mechanisms of action with the ability to strengthen, stimulate or activate the body’s immune system to fight cancer. To date, the company has developed several antibody candidates currently in clinical development both as monotherapy and in combination with standard of care treatments. The company’s lead products BI-1206 and BI-1808- are being tested in phase I/IIa trials for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and solid tumors and three other products are being tested in early clinical studies, e.g., BT-001, BI-1607 and BI-1910 are all being developed as potential treatments for several cancer types.
Six proprietary and six outlicensed projects in clinical trials
The company has strong partnerships with industry players both biotech and pharma, that contribute to expedient and robust clinical development. Over the years, the company has established partnerships with major international players such as Pfizer, Bayer, Merck, Daiichi Sankyo and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma. Currently, for its proprietary clinical programmes, BioInvent has collaborations with pharmaceutical companies such as MSD, Exelixis, CASI, and Transgene. In addition, an external portfolio of six clinical programmes are run by licensees.
The latest agreement was signed in July 2022, with the US company Exelixis. BioInvent received an upfront fee of 25 MUSD in exchange for rights to select targets identified using BioInvent’s proprietary F.I.R.S.T. platform and n-CoDeR library. In September 2023, BioInvent achieved a research milestone in its partnership with Exelixis that unlocked a 1 million USD payment to BioInvent. Read more here.
The CEO comments
To find out more about the progress made during 2023, and to get an insight into his hopes for next year, BioStock contacted the company’s CEO Martin Welschof.
Martin, what were the most important goals reached by BioInvent this year?
– This year we made unprecedented progress with one of our lead candidates based on our exciting TNFR2 proprietary platform. Our first-in-class anti-TNFR2 antibody BI-1808 showed single agent efficacy in Phase I and moved into Phase II clinical development. Demonstrating single agent activity was a huge milestone for a drug candidate with a novel mechanism of action that was fully discovered and developed by BioInvent. BI-1910, our second anti-TNFR2 agent that works through a different mechanism of action entered Phase 1 studies. In addition, we presented positive data for our second anti-FcyRIIB antibody, BI-1607.
BioInvent is currently valued under cash. What, according to you, does this imply regarding the valuation of the company’s stock?
– Growth and investment in the entire sector has been hampered by the geopolitical and financial uncertainties. BioInvent as all other similar companies is experiencing this market paradox. Unfortunately, market valuation discrepancies are common due to the current investment climate. A recovery in the global economy is likely to trigger a return to spending growth in the healthcare sector. Clearly, the high unmet medical need and the huge potential are still there, and we are confident that savy investors will recognize the huge value proposition.
Six clinical projects are currently outlicensed and run by other companies. What would you say regarding the long-term financial potential of these projects?
– These partnerships are designed to provide value once the product reaches the market when BioInvent will get a percentage of the sales from each product. Additionally, the collaborations give BioInvent milestone payments throughout the ongoing clinical development program.
Finally, what value triggers do you envision BioInvent will have communicated this time next year, and how could they contribute to the company’s overall value?
– By year end we hope to have more mature clinical data on both our lead programs, BI-1206 and BI-1808. This could serve as a basis for some exciting outlicensing opportunities. We also expect a broad set of earlier clinical data since we now have five candidates in six ongoing trials.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.