24 October 2018 | News
The extended collaboration will enrich AstraZeneca’s immuno-oncology (IO) portfolio with pre-clinical and clinical potential new medicines
AstraZeneca, and its global biologics research and development arm MedImmune, have announced a new multi-term agreement with Innate Pharma (Innate), building on an existing collaboration, aimed at accelerating each company’s oncology portfolio and bringing new medicines to patients more quickly. The extended collaboration will enrich AstraZeneca’s immuno-oncology (IO) portfolio with pre-clinical and clinical potential new medicines.
AstraZeneca will obtain full oncology rights to the first-in-class humanised anti-NKG2A antibody, monalizumab, expanding its partnership with Innate from the initial collaboration announced in 2015. AstraZeneca also gains option rights to IPH5201, an antibody targeting CD39, as well as four preclinical molecules from Innate’s pipeline. Innate is licensing the US and EU commercial rights to recently FDA-approved Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox) for hairy cell leukaemia (HCL).
Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our expanded collaboration with Innate Pharma enables us to further strengthen our leadership in immuno-oncology, and to explore the potential of next-generation immuno-oncology pathways, together with the world-class scientific team of Innate. Today’s agreement also secures the long-term commercialisation of the recently FDA approved rare disease medicine, Lumoxiti, through dedicated focus and investment by Innate Pharma.”
Mondher Mahjoubi, Chief Executive Officer of Innate Pharma, said: “Today is a defining moment for Innate Pharma as we transition to become a fully-integrated oncology-focused biotech. Lumoxiti is a major therapeutic innovation for patients who suffer from relapsed/refractory hairy cell leukaemia, and we are proud to be in a position to address a significant unmet medical need. Our commercial team will be focused on rare cancers and generate more value as our own haemato-oncology proprietary pipeline develops.”
Building on an earlier collaboration with Innate, AstraZeneca is exercising its option to obtain full oncology rights to monalizumab, a first-in-class humanised anti-NKG2A antibody. NKG2A is a checkpoint receptor expressed on tumour-infiltrating cytotoxic T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells that inhibits their anti-cancer functions. The companies currently share Phase II development for monalizumab in combination trials in both head and neck and colorectal cancer, with additional trials underway in other solid tumours.
In addition, Innate grants AstraZeneca an option to exclusively license four molecules to be agreed upon from Innate’s preclinical portfolio, increasing the breadth and depth of AstraZeneca’s immuno-oncology portfolio.
Given the long-term collaboration between the two companies, AstraZeneca will acquire a 9.8% equity stake in Innate Pharma through the issuance of 6,260,500 new shares to AstraZeneca at €10/share. Issuance of the new shares is expected to take place on or about 25 October 2018.