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France’s Innate Pharma eyes $100m Nasdaq IPO

Would help fund development of antibody-based immunotherapies

Innate pharma

Innate Pharma is seeking to raise $100m via a public listing on the Nasdaq that would help fund development of its antibody-based cancer immunotherapies. 

Shares in the biotech – based in Marseille, France – are already traded on the Euronext exchange and Innate is also carrying out a concurrent private placement in Europe, according to a prospectus filed with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

Some of the proceeds will go towards Innate’s lead candidate monalizumab, an anti-NKG2A antibody which was licensed by AstraZeneca last year in a deal that included $100m in near-term payments and $825m more in development and sales milestones.

AZ’s interest in monalizumab lies in data showing that it can make PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors like AZ’s own Imfinzi (durvalumab) more effective, and it also took options on other Innate drugs including anti-CD39 candidate IPH5201.

The drug is being tested in relapsed/refractory head and neck cancer as well as other advanced solid tumour types, including colorectal cancer.

AZ has been looking at combinations for Imfinzi that could help it catch up with earlier-to-market rivals in the checkpoint inhibitor category such as Merck & Co's Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo, but its first efforts – centred on CTLA4 inhibitor tremelimumab – have ended in failure.

Another block of cash will be used to build the commercial teams that will be needed by Innate in the US and Europe to sell Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox), AZ’s hairy cell leukaemia therapy. The French biotech licensed co-commercial rights to the drug at the same time as the monalizumab deal was signed.

The remainder of the potential IPO funding will go towards projects that, for now at least, lie outside the AZ alliance.

That includes continuing clinical development of anti-KIR3DL2 antibody IPH4102 for the treatment of patients with Sézary syndrome – a form of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) – as well as myelofibrosis and peripheral T cell lymphoma (PTCL).

Some of the cash will also be used by Innate for more trials of IPH5401, which blocks C5a receptors expressed on subsets of white blood cells and was licensed from Novo Nordisk in 2017, and to advance anti-CD73 antibody IPH5301 into clinical development. Both are thought to have potential in solid tumours.

Innate plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol ‘IPHA’. Citi, SVB Leerink, and Evercore ISI are the joint bookrunners for the IPO.

Article by
Phil Taylor

23rd September 2019

From: Marketing

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