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Sanofi set to acquire Kiadis for €308m

Acquisition will see French pharma gain access to NK-cell platform

French pharma Sanofi is set to buy Kiadis for a total of €308 ($358m) for access to the biotech’s NK-cell technology platform and pipeline.

Following the acquisition, Sanofi will be able to fully access Kiaidis’ off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell platform.

This platform is based on NK-cells from a ‘unique universal donor’, which Kiadis says has the potential to make NK-cell therapy products available quickly and economically for a potentially wider range of indications.

Part of Sanofi’s rationale for acquiring Kiaidis is to take control of this proprietary platform, while another focus will be on the NK-cell specialist’s pipeline products, which Sanofi hopes will complement its push into immuno-oncology.

Sanofi licensed Kiadis’ pre-clinical K-NK004 programme for multiple myeloma in July, to use in combination with its CD38 inhibitor, Sarclisa.

Other pipeline products include K-NK002, currently in phase 2 development for the prevention of post-transplant relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia AML and myelodysplastic syndromes.

In addition, Sanofi will gain the rights to K-NK003, in a phase 1 study evaluating NK-cells for patients with relapsed or refractory AML, as well as KNK-ID-101, a programme currently investigating the properties of K-NK cells as a post-exposure pre-emptive therapy for COVID-19 in high-risk patients.

For the KNK-ID-101 programme, Kiadis is planning to begin a phase 1/2a clinical trial evaluating the use of K-NK cells to treat COVID-19 patients, with support from government grant funding.

Sanofi will provide resources and capabilities to advance the development of Kiadis’ current research programmes for the treatment of blood tumours, solid cancers and infectious disease – which includes the COVID-19 programme.

“We believe Kiadis’ ‘off the shelf’ K-NK cell technology platform will have broad applications against liquid and solid tumours, and create synergies with Sanofi’s emerging immuno-oncology pipeline, providing opportunities for us to pursue potential best-in-disease approaches,” said John Reed, global head of research and development at Sanofi.

Kiadis acquired its NK-cell platform in April 2019 from CytoSen in the form of a stock transfer. CytoSen’s shareholders received around 1.94 million shares in Kiadis (a 7% stake).

The Kiadis Boards unanimously believe that Sanofi has the resources and financial strength to accelerate development of our NK-cell products, to the benefit of patients,” said Arthur Lahr, chief executive officer of Kiadis.

“We believe this transaction represents compelling value to shareholders and offers a fair reflection of the potential of our platform and pipeline, given the risk/reward profile typical to biotech and the capital required to execute our business plan,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

4th November 2020

From: Sales

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