Boehringer Ingelheim has linked up with F-star for the discovery of antibody-derived therapeutic products in a deal that could be worth over 1.2 billion euros to the Austrian biotech.

The deal, which is based around F-star’s modular antibody technology, will see Boehringer nominate up to seven targets, "which may span multiple therapeutic areas". Under the terms of the agreement, the Vienna-based firm will receive an initial technology access fee, research-based funding, and is eligible to receive various milestones and undisclosed tiered royalties.

In cash terms, Boehringer can select several therapeutics from each of seven discovery programmes whereas the total payment to F-star for each of these, excluding royalties, could reach up to 180 million euros. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Kevin FitzGerald, F-star's chief executive, said that "we are very excited by the prospect of jointly delivering novel therapeutic proteins to patients with poorly-treated illnesses". He said the biotech has developed technology for the discovery of antibody-based products "that are clearly differentiated from conventional antibodies and other protein-based drugs" and this partnership will enable it to "expand the exploitation of this technology".

The deal comes a month after Boehringer hooked up with US biotech MacroGenics in another antibody-based therapeutics deal,worth potentially $2.1 billion to the latter.