- Anti-C5a receptor (C5aR) is a first-in-class clinical-stage monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment;
- Innate Pharma intends to start clinical trials with anti-C5aR (IPH5401) in oncology in 2018;
- Acquisition is part of a transaction in which Novo Nordisk A/S will increase its equity stake in Innate Pharma.
Innate Pharma SA (the “Company” - Euronext Paris: FR0010331421 – IPH) today announces that it enters into an agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S granting Innate Pharma full worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a first-in-class clinical-stage anti-C5aR antibody (IPH5401) representing a novel therapeutic approach in immuno-oncology.
IPH5401 is a strategic fit to Innate Pharma’s current immuno-oncology pipeline. It adds a clinical-stage proprietary product that reinforces Innate Pharma’s position in the field of antibodies targeting the tumor microenvironment beyond the Company’s activities in the adenosine pathway. Innate Pharma plans to start trials with IPH5401 in oncology in 2018.
Through C5aR triggering, C5a induces accumulation and activation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment. These cells are associated with a poor prognosis across numerous tumor types. They secrete pro-tumor and pro-angiogenic factors and have emerged as a major immunosuppressive mechanism, associated with resistance to checkpoint blockers. By targeting and blocking this pathway, anti-C5aR has the potential to enhance anti-tumor immunity across a range of solid and hematologic tumors.
Novo Nordisk A/S has conducted two Phase I trials with anti-C5aR in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, where a good safety profile was demonstrated.
The terms of the transaction provide for a total upfront payment of €40m, of which €37.2m will be paid in new Innate Pharma shares and €2.8m in cash. Novo Nordisk A/S will be eligible for €370m in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments. Novo Nordisk A/S will also be eligible for double digit royalties on net sales.
After the issuance of the new Innate Pharma shares, the stake of Novo Nordisk A/S in Innate Pharma will increase from 10.3% currently to between 14.6% to 15.8% (See “About the transaction section”).
The closing is expected to take place on July 12, 2017 at the latest.
Mondher Mahjoubi, Chief Executive Officer of Innate Pharma, commented: “With the acquisition of the first-in-class anti-C5aR antibody, we are broadening our proprietary clinical pipeline. We believe anti-C5aR has a high potential for cancer patients in multiple indications and look forward to beginning clinical development of this promising asset in 2018. Innate Pharma has a strong track record of value creation from in-licensed assets with lirilumab and monalizumab. This acquisition strengthens our asset base further and supports Innate Pharma’s transition towards becoming a fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company.”
Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Chief Science Officer of Novo Nordisk A/S, added: “In light of Innate’s success within the immuno-oncology field, we believe that Innate is the ideal partner for the anti-C5aR program and we are looking forward to seeing the program advance further in development.”
On June 15, 2017, the management team held a conference call for institutional investors and sell-side analysts on
the acquisition of the anti-C5aR antibody as well as IPH4102 data.