BMS, Innate Pharma partner in immuno-oncology agreement
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


NEW YORK—Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Innate Pharma S.A. have announced that they have entered into a global agreement for the development and commercialization of IPH2102, a novel antibody from Innate Pharma currently in Phase I development as a treatment for cancer.  
"Bristol-Myers Squibb is dedicated to helping patients prevail over cancer," said Francis Cuss, senior vice president of research for Bristol-Myers Squibb, in a statement regarding the new partnership. "To help us in this mission, we are very pleased to join forces with Innate Pharma, which has developed a deep understanding of the immune system. Working together, we have the opportunity to develop IPH2102, a potential first-in-class biologic that may be able to harness a patient's immune system in the fight against cancer."  
Per the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will receive exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize IPH2102 as well as related compounds that block KIR receptors. Innate Pharma will continue to develop the compound in acute myeloid leukemia through the end of Phase II and will provide pre-clinical support for IPH2102's development. For its part, Bristol-Myers Squibb will fund the compound's development, making an upfront payment of $35 million as well as additional payments of up to $430 million based on the achievement of previously agreed-upon milestones during the development and commercialization period, in addition to tiered double-digit royalty payments on worldwide net sales. The agreement covers all potential indications for IPH2102.  
"This agreement is the largest biotech licensing deal ever signed in France. Entering such a collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb gives Innate Pharma a strong validation of the key concepts of its science," said Hervé Brailly, Chief Executive Officer for Innate Pharma, in a press release regarding the agreement. "Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global leader in the field of immuno-oncology and therefore the best possible partner to fully realize the potential of IPH2102 and we look forward to this collaboration."  
Innate Pharma's website describes IPH 2102 as "a recombinant form of the anti-KIR monoclonal antibody IPH 2101, produced in a cell-line suited for industrial production." The drug works by interfering with the interaction between killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) on natural killer (NK) cells with ligands, which can activate NK cells to destroy tumor cells. Innate Pharma specializes in developing monoclonal antibodies "targeting receptors and pathways controlling the activation of innate immunity cells."  
"Bristol-Myers Squibb's String of Pearls strategy seeks to establish collaborations with leading innovator companies across the globe," said Mike Seeley, general manager, France, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We are excited to establish an important such collaboration in France with Innate Pharma, a pioneer in the field of innate immunity. This collaboration highlights our commitment to France, the French biotech community and to immuno-oncology, an area in which Bristol-Myers Squibb has developed a robust pipeline including ipilimumab."
Code: E07071101

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