Pharma Focus Asia

Sanofi and Innovent Biologics enter strategic collaboration to accelerate development of oncology medicines and expand presence in China

Friday, August 05, 2022

Sanofi and Innovent Biologics announced a collaboration to bring innovative medicines to patients in China with difficult-to-treat cancers. Innovent is a leading biopharmaceutical company with strong clinical development capabilities and a broad commercial footprint in China. Both companies are committed to accelerating the development and commercialization of two Sanofi key clinical stage oncology assets: Phase III SAR408701 (tusamitamab ravtansine; anti-CEACAM5 antibody-drug conjugate) and Phase II SAR444245 (non-alpha IL-2), combining with sintilimab, the leading checkpoint inhibitor in China.

In addition to the collaboration and license agreement, Sanofi will invest €300 million in Innovent through subscription of new common shares.

John Reed, M.D., Ph.D.
Global Head of Research and Development at Sanofi

“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. 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.”

Michael Yu, Ph.D.
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Innovent

“This strategic collaboration with Sanofi, a leading global pharmaceutical company, opens the pathway to great synergy for accelerating the pace of innovation. 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. We hope this agreement will be a great start of the two parties’ long-term partnership, and we look forward to bringing more innovative therapies to patients.”

Clinical development and commercialization of tusamitamab ravtansine

SAR408701 (tusamitamab ravtansine) is a potential first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting CEACAM5 (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 other cancers. SAR408701 is currently in a Phase 3 study for 2L NSCLC globally including China, and global Phase 2 studies in additional indications including 1L NSCLC, gastric cancers and other solid tumors.

According to the agreement, Innovent will be responsible for developing and exclusively commercializing tusamitamab in multiple oncology-based indications in China. Sanofi will be entitled to receive up to €80 million development milestone payment and royalties on the net sales of the product in China upon approval.

Clinical development and commercialization of SAR444245

SAR444245 is a potential first-in-class reprogrammed, site-directed, single PEGylated, recombinant human IL-2 (rIL-2) variant with extended half-life that specifically binds to the low-affinity IL-2 receptor but lacks binding affinity for the αlpha chain of the high-affinity IL-2 receptor. SAR444245(IL-2) is currently under global Phase 2 studies for skin cancers, gastrointestinal cancer, NSCLC / mesothelioma, head and neck tumors, and lymphoma.

Innovent and Sanofi will jointly explore the development of SAR444245 in China in various cancer types, where Innovent will lead the clinical development. Sanofi remains the sole Marketing Authorization holder for both assets and will be fully responsible for SAR245 commercialization. Innovent will be entitled to receive up to €60 million development milestone payments and royalties on the net sales of the product in China upon approval.

Sanofi’s initial strategic equity investment in Innovent for €300 million

In addition to the strategic multi-product collaboration and license agreement, Sanofi, subject to conditions precedent including regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, will invest in new common shares issued by Innovent for €300 million, at a price of HK $42.42 per share, representing a 20% premium to the Innovent 30-trading-day average share price as of August 3, 2022, one day prior to the signing of the agreements.

Subject to mutual agreement of both parties in the future, Sanofi will have the right to acquire additional Innovent new common shares for €300 million, at a subscription price that represents 20% premium to Innovent 30-trading-day average share price as the date of the separate agreement that may be entered into by both parties.

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