William Malcolm

PPF Group Sells Stake In NBE-Therapeutics

Petr Kellner’s PPF Group will sell its stake in the Swiss biotechnology company NBE-Therapeutics to Boehringer Ingelheim. Boehringer has acquired a 100% stake in NBE for 1.18 billion euros. It is the largest acquisition of its kind in Europe in the last ten years.

PPF’s stake is around 26 percent, which would mean income from the transaction of approximately 300 million euros or about eight billion crowns.

The transaction is worth up to €1.18 billion, comprises an upfront payment to NBE’s shareholders, and contingent clinical and regulatory milestones.

PPF invested in NBE four years ago and was NBE’s largest shareholder at the time of the acquisition. PPF said that its biotechnology company Sotio would continue to work with NBE to develop two innovative anti-cancer products, the so-called ADC platform. NBE was established in 2012. In addition to PPF and Boehringer Ingelheim, the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Holdings and other Swiss, German and Dutch private investors also own shares.

“We are excited for the future of NBE-Therapeutics as part of Boehringer Ingelheim. Boehringer will now use its expertise and commitment to oncology research to realize the potential of the iADC platform to create best-in-class ADC therapies for the benefit of patients. This acquisition validates our business model of investing into companies with potentially game-changing platforms and products.” said Ladislav Bartoníček, a shareholder of PPF Group.

Basel-based NBE-Therapeutics uses its own patented iADC platform to develop drugs for the treatment of tumors. The ADC platform enables the targeted delivery of highly effective chemotherapy to the tumor using antibodies directed at proteins that occur only on tumor cells. The main program called NBE-002 entered the so-called phase I clinical trials in the middle of this year.

Sotio CEO Radek Špíšek said that the interest of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in the ADC platform shows how much value the products marked SO-N102 and SO-N107, which Sotio develops and are based on this platform from NBE. “As part of our ongoing partnership with NBE-Therapeutics, SO-N102 should enter the clinical phase by the end of 2021, and SO-N107 will continue in preclinical trials,” he added.

Sotio is a biotechnology company focused on the research and development of new anti-cancer drugs. It develops new drugs aimed at treating cancer and autoimmune diseases and operates in Europe, the USA, Russia, and China. The company conducts clinical trials and has developed its treatment method based on the so-called dendritic cell platform (DCVAC) and a new generation of anti-tumor drugs based on antibody-drug conjugate (ADC).

PPF Group invests in multiple market segments, including financial services, telecommunications, media, biotechnology, real estate, and mechanical engineering. PPF Group’s reach spans from Europe to North America and across Asia. The Group has EUR 44 billion in assets and employs 98,000 people globally.