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Sanofi gains access to antibody tech with Kymab acquisition

French pharma will receive global rights to phase 2a monoclonal antibody

Sanofi has made a $1.45bn play for Cambridge, UK-based Kymab, extending its reach into immunotherapy and immunology.

As part of the acquisition, Sanofi will have full global rights to Kymab’s monoclonal antibody (mAb) KY1005 – an asset with a novel mechanism of action that has the potential to treat a range of immune-mediated disorders and inflammatory diseases.

The mAb recently met both primary endpoints in a phase 2a study in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis patients whose disease is inadequately controlled by topical corticosteroids.

Aside from KY1005, Kymab’s pipeline also includes an early-stage oncology candidate – KY1044 – which is currently being investigated as a monotherapy treatment and in combination with a PD-L1 inhibitor.

The acquisition will also give Sanofi access to new antibody technologies and research capabilities, the company said in a statement.

“The Kymab acquisition adds KY1005 to our dynamic pipeline, a potential first-in-class treatment for a range of immune and inflammatory diseases. The novel mechanism of action may provide treatment for patients with suboptimal responses to available therapies,” said Paul Hudson, chief executive officer at Sanofi.

“With its significant global resources, we believe Sanofi is the perfect partner to progress Kymab’s pipeline of products and the merger will expedite the time it takes for our novel therapies to get to patients,” added Simon Sturge, chief executive officer at Kymab.

Under the terms of the deal, Sanofi pay $1.1bn upfront to acquire Kymab and up to $350m, dependent upon the achievement of certain, undisclosed milestones.

The Kymab acquisition is the first acquisition agreed by Sanofi in 2021, following a string of deals made throughout 2020.

In November 2020, Sanofi agreed to buy biotech company Kiadis for a total consideration of €308 ($358m) for access to its NK-cell technology platform and pipeline.

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.

Prior to that, Sanofi signed a huge $3.7bn deal for US-based Principia Biopharma, gaining access to the biotech’s portfolio of Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Principia’s lead candidate and focus of the acquisition was Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ‘168, currently in development for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In 2017, Sanofi signed a deal with Principia for exclusive rights to BTK inhibitor ‘168 in MS and other central nervous system diseases, and gained full control of the drug's development following the buyout.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

12th January 2021

From: Sales

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