Innate Pharma moves on from a trial disaster with a €40M in-licensing pact with Novo Nordisk

Mondher Mahjoubi, Innate

Just four months after its lead therapy lirilumab flunked a mid-stage test fighting acute myeloid leukemia, France’s Innate Pharma has exchanged a chunk of equity for a new immuno-oncology drug candidate from Novo Nordisk.

The drug — which Novo has tested in a pair of Phase I rheumatoid arthritis studies — is an anti-C5aR antibody aimed at the “accumulation and activation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment.”

Innate is giving Novo Nordisk an upfront payment of €40 million, of which €37.2 million is coming in new Innate Pharma shares, with only €2.8 million in cash. Novo Nordisk will be eligible for €370 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments as well as double-digit royalties on net sales.

Innate CEO Mondher Mahjoubi 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.

The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.

Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 41,700+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.

Free Subscription

Head of Business Development
Wren Therapeutics Boston, MA
Life Sciences Venture Professional
Northpond Ventures Washington, DC
Senior Drug Discovery Oncologist
Schrödinger New York, NY

Visit Endpoints Careers ->