Sanofi strengthens immuno-oncology with $2.5bn Synthorx buy

French pharma, Sanofi, is bolstering its immuno-oncology pipeline with the $2.5 billion acquisition of California biotech, Synthorx.

The deal provides Sanofi with access to Synthorx’s lead immune-oncology product candidate, THOR-707, a variant of interleukin-2 (IL-2).

The candidate is currently in clinical development in multiple solid tumour types as a single agent and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

It has the potential to become the best-in-class IL-2 therapeutic for the treatment of solid tumours and demonstrate improved pharmacology, less frequent dosing, and therapeutic superiority when compared to other IL-2 compounds.

The addition of THOR-707 and Synthorx’s other earlier-stage cytokine programs to Sanofi’s pipeline will enhance Sanofi’s position in oncology, and in immuno-oncology.

Sanofi said it expects IL-2 to become a foundation of future IO-IO combinations as well as offering multiple combination opportunities with its clinical and pre-clinical oncology assets, including with PD-1, CD-38, and molecules that modulate effector T-cells and natural killer cells.

The company added that Synthorx’s Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform is expected to be a source for developing a differentiated therapeutic pipeline.

Alone and in combination with other existing Sanofi platforms, including the Nanobody technology, it will enable the company to develop a wide range of novel biologics, including drug conjugates, protein fusions, and multi-specific biologics, with applications beyond oncology and extending to other therapeutic areas.

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