Innate Pharma SA and Novo Nordisk A/S announced that Innate Pharma has acquired full development and commercialization rights to the anti-NKG2A antibody, a first-in-class immune checkpoint inhibitor ready for Phase 2 development in oncology from Novo Nordisk.
Novo Nordisk conducted a large Phase 1 safety trial with anti-NKG2A in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, demonstrating a good safety profile for both iv and sc routes at single and multiple administrations. Novo Nordisk has decided to advance other compounds for further development in inflammation, including anti-NKG2D, currently in Phase 2 development and generated within the collaboration between Innate Pharma and Novo Nordisk.
Novo Nordisk will receive 2 million euros in cash and 600,000 shares for licensing anti-NKG2A to Innate and be eligible to a total of 20 million euros in potential registration milestones and single-digit tiered royalties on future sales. The acquisition of the Innate shares is subject to approval by Innate’s shareholders’ at an extraordinary general meeting on March 27.
Herve Brailly, CEO of Innate Pharma noted: “This is a superb opportunity for Innate Pharma. In addition to lirilumab partnered to Bristol-Myers Squibb and currently in Phase 2, we now have a proprietary Phase 2 ready, first-in-class, immuno-modulating antibody with favorable Phase 1 safety data and the promise of broad development potential. Our initial clinical development plan is in oncology, and we expect to start the clinical program before the end of this year. This license consolidates Innate Pharma’s leadership in immuno-modulating antibodies targeting the innate immune system”.
Nicolaï Wagtmann, CSO of Innate Pharma, said: “Anti-NKG2A is a very exciting immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting both NK and T cells that was selected in the Novo Nordisk-Innate Pharma research alliance for development in cancer and inflammatory disorders. We are very pleased with the progress in the development of this drug candidate, and we look forward to now taking it forward in cancer indications where there is a great need for better treatments and where drugs of this type have shown tremendous benefit in recent years.”
Per Falk, senior vice president Biopharmaceutical Research, Novo Nordisk A/S, added: “The new field of innate immunity pharmacology opened by Innate Pharma has proven highly productive, as exemplified by anti-KIR and anti-NKG2D now in Phase II clinical trials. In view of recent successes with this type of drug candidates in cancer patients, we believe that anti-NKG2A has its greatest potential in oncology and that Innate Pharma is in the best position to pursue its development.”
Date: February 5, 2014
Source: Novo Nordisk