Innate Pharma has developed an innovative bispecific antibody technology and used it to create novel molecular formats for engaging NK cells to kill tumor cells through NKp46.
NKp46 is an activating receptor expressed on all natural killer cells. It is the most specific marker of human NK cells and plays a major role in their tumor cell recognition. NKp46-bispecific NK cell engagers bind with one arm to an antigen at the surface of tumor cells, and with another arm to the NKp46 receptor on NK cells. This leads to activation and specific tumor-killing by NK cells.
Innate Pharma’s novel type of bispecific antibodies specifically triggers NK cells instead of T cells, which may reduce the risk of the side-effects associated with T cell engagers.
This technology offers opportunities to expand Innate Pharma’s in-house pipeline of drug candidates and partnering.
Innate Pharma has a research collaboration and licensing agreement with Sanofi for the generation and evaluation of up to two bispecific NK cell engagers, using Innate Pharma’s technology and Sanofi’s technology and tumor targets. Under the terms of the licence agreement, Sanofi will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of products resulting from the research collaboration. Innate Pharma will be eligible for up to €400m in development and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales.