Sanofi is linking arms with BioNTech under multiyear exclusive collaboration and license agreement targeting the discovery and development of up to five new cancer immunotherapies containing a mix of messenger RNAs, that could bring more than $1.5 billion to the latter’s books.

Sanofi is paying BioNTech $60 million in upfront and near-term milestone payments for rights to the candidates based on the latter’s technology, but the firm could receive over $300 million more in development, regulatory and commercial milestones and other payments, as well as sales-based royalties, for each product. 

Under the terms of the deal, BioNTech also holds the option to co-develop and co-commercialise two of the five mRNA therapeutics products with Sanofi in the European Union and the US.

“The collaboration with Sanofi is groundbreaking: through using our broad suite of mRNA technologies and extensive tumor immunology understanding, it will allow us to develop a completely new class of cancer immune-therapeutics with Sanofi, which we believe will have a profound and deep impact on the treatment of cancer,” said BioNTech chief executive Ugur Sahin, commenting on the move.