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Sanofi and Innovent have entered into a strategic collaboration to accelerate development of oncology medicines and expand their presence in China.
Sanofi and Innovent Biologics, a biopharmaceutical company, announced a strategic collaboration to bring oncology medicines to patients in China on Aug. 4, 2022. This agreement is designed to accelerate development and commercialization of two oncology candidates by combining them with sintilimab, a programmed cell death protein 1 immunoglobulin G4 monoclonal antibody jointly developed by Innovent and Eli Lilly and Company. According to the press release, the agreement will also see Sanofi invest €300 million (approximately $310 million USD) in Innovent.
One candidate, SAR408701 (tusamitamab ravtansine), is a potential first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate targeting carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 5, a cell-surface glycoprotein that is highly expressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gastric cancer, and various other cancers. Is currently in a global Phase III study for second-line NSCLC, and global Phase II studies for additional indications including first-line NSCLC, gastric cancers, and other solid tumors.
The other candidate, SAR444245 (interleukin (IL) 2), is a potential first-in-class recombinant human IL-2 variant that includes a site-directed single PEG moiety/chain that is designed to prevent it from binding to the α chain of the -2 receptor while retaining near-native affinity for the beta/gamma subunits. It is currently being investigated in global Phase II studies for the treatment of skin cancers, gastrointestinal cancer, NSCLC / mesothelioma, head and neck tumors, and lymphoma.
“This strategic collaboration with Innovent will not only accelerate the development, market access, and future commercialization of two of our key oncology medicines in selected combinations with sintilimab, but also bolster our overall presence in oncology in China,” said John Reed, global head of Research and Development, Sanofi, in the release. “We look forward to a successful partnership with Innovent, one of the most innovative companies in China, and to leveraging their development capabilities and market leadership in the country.”
“This strategic collaboration with Sanofi opens the pathway to great synergy for accelerating the pace of innovation,” said Michael Yu, chairman and CEO, Innovent, in the release. “This pioneering partnership will leverage the synergy between Sanofi and Innovent’s pipeline and R&D resources with the mutual aim to address major unmet medical needs for cancer patients.”