BioNtech announces the acquisition of start-up InstaDeep, specialized in decision-making AI

State-of-the-art immunotherapy company Biopharmaceutical New Technologies, better known as BioNTech, which notably developed one of the messenger RNA vaccines against COVID-19, and InstaDeep announced last week that they had reached an agreement to acquire the start-up up specializing in the design of decision-making AI systems by BioNtech.

Founded in 2014 by Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim, headquartered in London, InstaDeep has offices in Paris, Tunis, Lagos, Dubai, Cape Town, Berlin, Boston, San Francisco and a global network of research partners in the fields of AI , machine learning and data science. It was named three years in a row to the CB Insights AI 100 ranking of the 100 Most Innovative Private AI Companies.

The company develops proprietary AI products such as its DeepChain protein design platform and collaborates with major groups such as Google DeepMind, Nvidia and Intel. To contribute to the development of AI, it develops solutions for everyone, published in open source, and organizes events and training.

Just a year ago, it announced a $100 million (€88 million) fundraiser in which BioNTech had participated. Under the terms of the agreement just signed by the two companies, BioNTech will pay an initial consideration of approximately £362 million (over €408 million) in cash and stock to acquire 100% of the remaining shares of ‘InstaDeep.

The InstaDeep-BioNTech collaboration

Founded in 2008 in Mainz, Germany, pioneering new therapies for cancer and other serious diseases, BioNTech aims to become a world leader in biotechnology for individualized cancer medicine. Thanks to its expertise in mRNA vaccine design and its in-house manufacturing capabilities, it is developing several candidate mRNA vaccines for a range of infectious diseases, including BioNTech-Pfizer against Covid-19.

InstaDeep and BioNTech have been collaborating since 2019. In late 2020, the two companies announced the creation of an AI innovation lab combining InstaDeep’s advanced capabilities in the areas of AI, ML and digitization with BioNTech’s expertise in the area of ​​precision immunotherapies. In January 2022, they announced the development of the Early Warning System (EWS), an evolving warning system that combines Spike protein structural modeling with AI to identify and monitor in real time the emergence and evolution of variants. risk of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19).

They are also working to improve neoantigen selection by optimizing ribological sequences for BioNTech’s RiboCytokine and RiboMab platforms.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, InstaDeep will operate as a subsidiary of BioNTech and continue to deploy its business intelligence systems to serve its customers. This will enable high-throughput design and testing of new drug candidates at scale, and BioNTech will expand its global network of research collaborators in the field and expand its presence in key talent hubs in the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Ugur Sahin, professor, MD, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, says:

“Since BioNTech’s inception, we have focused on leveraging IT solutions to create personalized immunotherapies that can reach a large patient population. The acquisition of InstaDeep allows us to integrate the rapidly evolving AI capabilities of the digital world into our technologies, research, drug discovery, manufacturing and deployment processes. Our goal is to make BioNTech a technology company where AI is fully integrated into every aspect of our work.”

Karim Beguir, CEO and co-founder of InstaDeep, concludes:

“AI is advancing exponentially and our mission at InstaDeep has always been to ensure that it benefits everyone. We are very excited to join forces and form a team with BioNTech, with whom we share the same culture of deep technological innovation and focus on positive human impact. Together, we envision building a global leader that combines biopharmaceutical research and AI to design next-generation immunotherapies that improve medical care – helping to fight cancer and other diseases.”

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