Sanofi beefs up cancer drug pipeline, paying cash hungry ImmunoGen $30M for full rights to oncology portfolio

Sanofi $SNY is once again rejigging its partnership with ImmunoGen $IMGN. But two years after punting a cancer drug as the pharma giant overhauled its cancer drug pipeline, Sanofi is paying $30 million in cash to grab added commercialization rights for a string of oncology assets — including a late-stage drug — as ImmunoGen builds up its cache of cash for its lead program.

At the top of the list is isatuximab (SAR650984), an anti-CD38 antibody in Phase III for multiple myeloma. Then there’s SAR566658, an antibody-drug conjugate targeting CA6 in Phase II development for triple negative breast cancer; SAR408701, an anti-CEACAM5 ADC studied for the treatment of solid tumors; “and an additional ADC directed to an undisclosed target.”

The two companies also agreed to change their 2013 deal, giving Sanofi exclusive rights to SAR428926, an anti-LAMP1 ADC for solid tumors.

In exchange for the cash, ImmunoGen is giving up co-promotion rights as well as royalty streams on any approved therapies that come out of the pact.

Mark Enyedy

This is all part of a months-long effort by ImmunoGen CEO Mark Enyedy to cash in on assets and come up with enough funding to concentrate efforts on their Phase III study of mirvetuximab soravtansine. A few days ago ImmunoGen sold off its CD37-targeting ADC IMGN529 to Debiopharm for $25 million up front.

“Importantly,” noted RBC’s Matthew Eckler at the time of the Debiopharm deal, “this will fund operations through futility analysis of the Phase III FORWARD I trial of mirvetuximab in ovarian cancer, expected 1H18. The sale of ’529 represents continued execution of restructuring efforts announced last fall, which are prioritizing mirvetuximab and the IGN-payload pipeline. Under this plan, management is also seeking to monetize coltuximab ravtansine (CD19-targeting ADC), which could represent an additional near-term source of non-dilutive capital.

“Amending these agreements allows us to continue to focus on the development of our lead program, mirvetuximab soravtansine, while advancing our earlier-stage portfolio and further strengthening ImmunoGen’s cash position,” stated Enyedy,  “We believe Sanofi possesses the right resources to complete the development of these innovative candidates and potentially bring them to patients around the globe.”

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