Novo Nordisk, Innate Pharma sign agreement for novel cancer immunotherapy

Innate Pharma today announced it entered into an agreement with Novo Nordisk, granting the France-based company worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the first drug (IPH5401) in a new class of immuno-oncology therapies.

It is a new investigational anti-C5aR antibody, which completes Innate Pharma’s immuno-oncology pipeline. The company plans to begin developing IPH5401 in 2018. By triggering C5aR, C5a induces accumulation and activation of MDSC (myeloid-derived suppressor cells) and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment.

These cells are associated with a poor prognosis across numerous tumor types. Indeed, they secrete pro-tumor and pro-angiogenic factors and are associated with resistance to other immuno-oncology treatments. By blocking this pathway, anti-C5aR has the potential to enhance anti-tumor immunity across both solid and hematologic tumors, increasing the efficacy of this therapy approach.

Novo Nordisk conducted two Phase I trials with anti-C5aR in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.The product demonstrated a good safety profile. As part of the agreement, Innate Pharma will make an upfront payment of €40m, plus an additional payment of €370m based on successful completion of precise development, regulatory and sales milestones.

The transaction is expected to close in early July.

4 June 2017


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