Innate reinforces propriety pipeline with antibody acquisition

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Credit: Sergey Nivens

Innate Pharma has strengthened its propriety pipeline after gaining full and exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise a first-in-class clinical stage antibody from Novo Nordisk.

The company will pay €40 million in a mix of new shares and cash. Novo Nordisk will be eligible for €370 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments.

IPH5401 adds a clinical-stage proprietary product that reinforces Innate Pharma’s position in the field of antibodies targeting the tumour 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 tumour microenvironment.

These cells are associated with a poor prognosis across numerous tumour types. They secrete pro-tumour 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-tumour immunity across a range of solid and hematologic tumours.

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.