Sanofi and Kiadis, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative ‘off the shelf’ natural killer (NK) cell-based medicines for the treatment of life-threatening diseases, entered into a definitive agreement under which Sanofi will make a public offer (subject to satisfaction of certain customary conditions) to acquire the entire share capital of Kiadis for EUR 5.45 per share, representing an aggregate adjusted equity value of €308m.
“We believe the Kiadis ‘off the shelf’ K-NK cell technology platform will have broad application against liquid and solid tumors, and create synergies with Sanofi’s emerging immuno-oncology pipeline, providing opportunities for us to pursue potential best-in-disease approaches,” said John Reed, M.D., Ph.D, Global Head of Research & Development at Sanofi.
“Kiadis’ vision is to bring novel cell-based medicines to people with life-threatening diseases, and this transaction will help achieve that vision,” said Arthur Lahr, Chief Executive Officer of Kiadis. “After the discontinuation of our lead product candidate and subsequent reorganization in 2019, we restarted Kiadis in 2020 as an entirely new company focused solely on the proprietary and differentiated NK-cell platform that we obtained through the acquisition of Cytosen Therapeutics.
“Sanofi’s offer is a clear testimony to the uniqueness of our NK-cell platform and the rapid success of Kiadis’ transformation. The Kiadis Boards unanimously believe that Sanofi has the resources and financial strength to accelerate development of our NK-cell products, to the benefit of patients. We believe this transaction represents compelling value to shareholders and offers a fair reflection of the potential of our platform and pipeline, given the risk/reward profile typical to biotech and the capital required to execute our business plan. Finally, this transaction will provide excellent career opportunities for our employees, who will be viewed by Sanofi as their internal cell-therapy experts.”
Innovative K-NK cell platform
Kiadis’ proprietary platform is based on allogeneic or ‘off-the-shelf’ NK cells from a healthy donor. NK cells seek and identify malignant cancer cells and have broad application across various tumor types. The platform has the potential to make products rapidly and economically available for a broad patient population across a wide range of indications.
Kiadis’ NK cell-based medicines will be developed alone and in combination with Sanofi’s existing platforms.
Complementary strong science to generate first-in-class medicines and strategic fit across core therapeutic areas
Sanofi’s research, development, and commercial expertise will be leveraged to advance Kiadis’ pipeline, which includes NK cell-based medicines for the treatment of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant, liquid and solid tumours, as well as infectious disease.
In July 2020, Sanofi licensed Kiadis’ pre-clinical K-NK004 program for potential combination for multiple myeloma.
Kiadis’ pipeline of NK cell therapies includes:
K-NK002 is in Phase 2 clinical study evaluating NK cells to prevent post-transplant relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes. The Phase 2 trial will be conducted in collaboration with premier U.S. transplant centres.
K-NK003 is a Phase 1 study evaluating NK cells for patients with relapsed or refractory AML.
KNK-ID-101 is a program evaluating the properties of K-NK cells and their suitability to fight SARS-CoV-2 and the option to develop K-NK cells as a post-exposure pre-emptive therapy for COVID-19 in high-risk patients. Kiadis plans to initiate a Phase 1/2a clinical trial evaluating the use of K-NK cells to treat COVID-19 patients with government grant funding.
Accelerates the clinical development and broadens patient reach of current Kiadis pipeline
Subject to the completion of the public offer, Sanofi will provide the resources and capabilities necessary to accelerate the development of current Kiadis programs for the treatment of blood tumours, solid cancers, and infectious diseases, maximizing their potential to the benefit of patients.