Sanofi and Innate Pharma SA announced today an expansion of their collaboration, with Sanofi licensing a natural killer (NK) cell engager program targeting B7H3 from Innate’s ANKETTM (Antibody-based NK Cell Engager Therapeutics) platform.
Sanofi will also have the option to add up to two additional ANKETTM targets. Upon candidate selection, Sanofi will be responsible for all development, manufacturing and commercialization. Innate and Sanofi signed a first NK cell engagers collaboration in 2016 for the generation and evaluation of up to two bispecific NK cell engagers, which are currently being evaluated by Sanofi’s R&D team, with one of these molecules already in clinical studies.
Valeria Fantin, Ph.D.
Global Head of Oncology Research at Sanofi
“At Sanofi, we are exploring the potential of NK cells for cancer immunotherapy, a key pillar for our oncology strategy. Our relationship with Innate aligns with our commitment to work with promising French companies and supports our ambition to develop a diverse portfolio of next-generation NK cell engagers, highly synergistic with Sanofi’s allogeneic NK cell platform, engineered lymphokines that stimulate NK cells, and growing Immuno-oncology pipeline. As a leading global company with roots in France, we are proud to collaborate to support the French healthcare ecosystem.”
Yannis Morel, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Product portfolio strategy & Business development at Innate Pharma
“Building on the success of our existing collaboration on hematologic targets, we are pleased to expand and strengthen our partnership with Sanofi on NK Cell Engagers with the addition of up to three new programs, including in solid tumors. Sanofi’s investment in Innate further validate the value of our ANKETTM platform and its potential to address multiple tumor types. By incorporating various tumor antigen binders, NK Cell Engagers are a versatile technology that may provide new options for patients and offer clinical benefit across multiple cancers, whilst also maintaining a good safety profile. This agreement also highlights Innate’s strategy to build a broad portfolio of ANKET programs addressing different types of cancer.”
Under the terms of the new license agreement, Innate will receive €25m upfront payment and up to €1.35bn total in preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones plus royalties on potential net sales. Closing of the transaction is subject to HSR approval.
About 2016 Sanofi/Innate research collaboration and licensing agreement
In 2016, Sanofi and Innate entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement for the generation and evaluation of up to two bispecific NK cell engagers, using technology from Innate Pharma and Sanofi’s proprietary bispecific antibody format as well as tumor targets.
A Phase 1/2 clinical trial by Sanofi is ongoing, evaluating IPH6101/SAR’579 (SAR443579), the first NKp46/CD16-based CD123-targeted ANKETTM NK cell engager, in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (R/R AML), B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (HR-MDS).
In the summer 2022, Sanofi had made the decision to progress IPH6401/SAR’514 (SAR445514) into investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies. IPH6401/SAR’514 is a BCMA-targeting NK cell engager using Sanofi’s proprietary CROSSODILE® multi-functional platform, which comprises the Cross-Over-Dual-Variable-Domain (CODV) format. It induces a dual targeting of the NK activating receptors, NKp46 and CD16, for an optimized NK cell activation, based on Innate’s ANKETTM proprietary platform.
Under the terms of the original license agreement, Sanofi is responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of products resulting from the research collaboration. Innate Pharma will be eligible to up to €400m in development and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales. To date, €13m milestone payments to Innate have been announced.
About Sanofi’s approach to NK therapies in oncology
At Sanofi, we are exploring the intrinsic abilities of Natural Killer cells to create new immunotherapies for patients with cancer. Natural Killer cell-based therapies are a key pillar within Sanofi’s Oncology strategy. By activating the innate power of NK cells, Sanofi is advancing a diverse and complementary range of NK-based therapeutics to transform immune biology. The breadth of our modalities and unique strength to innovate end-to-end maximizes the therapeutic possibilities for more people with cancer.
We are an innovative global healthcare company, driven by one purpose: we chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. Our team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally, while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the center of our ambitions.
Sanofi is listed on EURONEXT: SAN and NASDAQ: SNY
About Innate Pharma
Innate Pharma S.A. is a global, clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech company dedicated to improving treatment and clinical outcomes for patients through therapeutic antibodies that harness the immune system to fight cancer.
Innate Pharma’s broad pipeline of antibodies includes several potentially first-in-class clinical and preclinical candidates in cancers with high unmet medical need.
Innate is a pioneer in the understanding of Natural Killer cell biology and has expanded its expertise in the tumor microenvironment and tumor-antigens, as well as antibody engineering. This innovative approach has resulted in a diversified proprietary portfolio and major alliances with leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi, and a multi-products collaboration with AstraZeneca.
Headquartered in Marseille, France with a US office in Rockville, MD, Innate Pharma is listed on Euronext Paris and Nasdaq in the US.
Learn more about Innate Pharma at www.innate-pharma.com