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Sanofi signs $1bn licence agreement for Eureka’s novel multiple myeloma drug

Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer

Sanofi has announced a new licence agreement, potentially worth up to $1bn, with US biotech company Eureka Therapeutics and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) for a novel multiple myeloma drug candidate.

The deal focuses on the non-CAR use of a novel, human binding domain targeting the G Protein Coupled Receptor Family C Group 5 Member D (GPRC5D), discovered using Eureka’s proprietary antibody discovery platform and developed in collaboration with MSK.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will gain exclusive rights to the GPRC5D binder for non-CAR use. In return, Eureka and MSK will be eligible to receive an undisclosed upfront payment as well as potential development, regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $1bn.

“We are delighted to contribute technology for the development of next generation therapies against multiple myeloma,” said Cheng Liu, president and chief executive officer of Eureka Therapeutics.

“Targeting GPRC5D has the potential to improve the durability of response from current therapies and to improve the long-term clinical benefits for patients,” he added.

Multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer, affects approximately 130,000 in the US, with around 32,000 people in the US being diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year.

Sanofi is already involved in this therapy area – in March 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved its multiple myeloma treatment Sarclisa (isatuximab).

The drug is designed to target the CD38 protein found on the surface of myeloma cells, inducing programmed tumour cell death – also known as apoptosis.

The FDA approved Sarclisa for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractor multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies, including Celgene’s Revlimid (lenalidomide) and a proteasome inhibitor.

It was cleared for use in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone (pom-dex), a standard regimen for the treatment of myeloma.

The Sarclisa approval, and the new licence agreement with Eureka and MSK, aligns with Sanofi’s narrower focus – in 2019, the French pharma chief executive officer Paul Hudson revealed a new strategy for the company to focus more on key growth areas that include oncology.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

7th July 2021

From: Research, Sales

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