German biotechnology company BioNTech recently announced that it will fully acquire artificial intelligence (AI) provider InstaDeep in a deal worth about £562 million ($685.9 million) to aid in the discovery of new drugs. This includes about £362m in cash for shares as yet unowned by BioNTech and up to £200m in future performance-based milestone payments.
Through the acquisition, BioNTech plans to develop AI and machine learning technologies to apply across its operations. In addition, the transaction will support BioNTech’s strategy to address diseases with high unmet medical need by building capabilities in AI-driven drug discovery and the development of next-generation immunotherapies and vaccines.
CEO of InstaDeep Karim Beguir said his company’s mission has always been to “make sure it benefits everyone.” He noted the exponential growth of AI and that his company has built AI systems to tackle complex challenges across a range of industries including biology, electronic design, energy, and logistics.
Following the close of the acquisition, which is expected to take place in the first half of 2023, InstaDeep — which is headquartered in London — will begin to operate as a U.K.-based subsidiary of BioNTech. InstaDeep will continue to provide services to clients around the world in diverse industries while becoming BioNTech’s centerpiece in a growing portfolio of initiatives around AI and machine learning.
“The acquisition of InstaDeep allows us to incorporate the rapidly evolving AI capabilities of the digital world into our technologies, research, drug discovery, manufacturing, and deployment processes,” said BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin. “Our aim is to make BioNTech a technology company where AI is seamlessly integrated into all aspects of our work.”
“Together, we envision building a world leader that combines biopharmaceutical research and AI with the aim to design next-generation immunotherapies that enhance medical care — thus, helping fight cancer and other diseases,” Beguir added.