Boehringer Ingelheim has signed a deal that could be worth up to 177.5 million euros with Switzerland’s 4-Antibody.

The Basel-based privately-held firm says it will use its Hu-PAC and Retrocyte Display technologies to discover and develop fully human antibodies against targets nominated by Boehringer. Cashwise, 4-Antibody will receive upfront and milestone payments but the firms are not saying how much the initial fee is.

Ulf Grawunder, co-founder and chief scientific offer at 4-Antibody, said this is “a landmark agreement”, noting that the collaboration will be a long-term. He added that “our unique and unencumbered technology capabilities allow the efficient generation of novel or improved fully human antibodies against any target class”.

Boehringer is also currently working with Belgium’s Ablynx to develop nanobodies, antibody-derived therapeutic proteins.