Aduro purchases BioNovion and acquires antibody portfolio and engineering capabilities

Aduro's innovative technology portfolio broadens with BioNovion's well-established antibody discovery and optimisation capabilities

Aduro Biotech and BioNovion have entered into a definitive agreement for Aduro to acquire BioNovion, a privately held monoclonal antibody discovery and development company based in the Netherlands.

The acquisition will further strengthen and expand Aduro's immunotherapy capabilities to encompass monoclonal antibodies, including preclinical assets that inhibit clinically validated immune checkpoint pathways. Such immune checkpoint inhibitors could potentially be used alone or in combination with Aduro's LADD and CDN platforms to increase immunotherapy potency and durability.

In addition, BioNovion has a rich pipeline of novel preclinical monoclonal antibodies that inhibit or activate unique immune response pathways, which have a role in controlling the progression of diverse malignancies. BioNovion has developed a proprietary technology to rapidly produce a broad library of therapeutic antibodies against validated targets, including PD1 and CTLA-4, as well as several undisclosed novel targets.

‘Through this acquisition, we gain access to another immunotherapy platform to enhance our portfolio and potential offerings to patients,’ said Stephen Isaacs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aduro. ‘Antibodies, particularly immune checkpoint inhibitors, are complementary to our existing immune stimulating technologies with LADD and CDNs. Having these capabilities provides another dimension to our company and uniquely positions us in the immunotherapy field.’

‘We believe the cutting edge immuno-oncology research and development at Aduro is a perfect complement to our efforts at BioNovion. We envision that the blend of our culture and technologies will produce new and powerful combination approaches to treat cancer and other diseases,’ said Andrea van Elsas, Chief Scientific Officer of BioNovion.

BioNovion specialises in immune oncology antibody discovery. The company’s B-cell selection platform enables full and highly effective exploration of immunoglobulin diversity. In a unique combination with functional screening, the platform has successfully developed leading antibody candidates. In close collaboration with world-class cancer institutes, such as the Dutch Cancer Institute, NKI-AVL in Amsterdam and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, BioNovion is validating the therapeutic potential of its innovative antibodies in immune oncology.

Aduro plans to maintain BioNovion's current 24-person operation as a subsidiary of Aduro in Pivot Park, Oss, the Netherlands. Under the terms of the agreement, Aduro will pay BioNovion €14.5m in cash and €14.5m in Aduro stock. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, which are expected to conclude in October 2015.