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Sanofi and Innate Pharma collaborate

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Research collaboration and licensing agreement for new bispecific antibodies will use Innate Pharma’s and Sanofi’s technology to target tumour cells

Sanofi and Innate Pharma have entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement to apply Innate Pharma’s new proprietary technology to the development of innovative bispecific antibody formats engaging natural killer (NK) cells to kill tumour cells through the activating receptor NKp46.

Sanofi and Innate Pharma will work together on the generation and evaluation of up to two bispecific NK cell engagers, using technology from Innate Pharma and Sanofi’s proprietary bispecific antibody format as well as tumour targets. Under the terms of the license agreement, Sanofi will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of products resulting from the research collaboration. Innate Pharma will be eligible to up to €400 million in development and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales.

NKp46 is an activating receptor expressed on all natural killer cells. It is the most specific marker of human NK cells and plays a major role in their tumour cell recognition. NKp46-bispecific NK cell engagers bind with one arm to an antigen at the surface of tumor cells, and with another arm to the NKp46 receptor on NK cells. This leads to activation and specific tumor-killing by NK cells, an immune cell population representing a significant proportion of all cytotoxic lymphocytes in the body.

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