BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
Innate Pharma | January 17, 2023
On January 16, 2023, Innate Pharma SA announced the publication of preclinical findings demonstrating the control of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells by a trifunctional NKp46-CD16a-NK cell engager (NKCE) targeting CD123 in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology. Innate and Sanofi conducted the experiments, which were published in Nature Biotechnology on January 12, 2023.
This study demonstrates that CD64 expression on AML blasts imparts resistance to anti-CD123 antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) and that redirecting NK cells against cancer targets by binding to CD16a and NKp46 circumvents this resistance. Moreover, through their binding to NKp46, CD123-NKCE primarily target NK cells and have substantial antitumor activity against primary AML blasts; they stimulate NK cell activation and cytokine secretion exclusively in AML cells' presence.
In vivo, its antitumor activity observed in a mouse tumor model surpasses that of the anti-CD123 antibody used as the comparator. Furthermore, in vitro in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in vivo in nonhuman primates, the efficacy of CD123-NKCE was associated with the induction of low pro-inflammatory cytokine release and the absence of toxicity.
These results support CD123-NKCE clinical development. IPH6101/SAR'579 (SAR443579), the first NKp46/CD16-based CD123-targeted ANKETTM NK cell engager, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial by Sanofi in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (R/R AML), B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (HR-MDS).
About Innate Pharma
Headquartered in Marseille (France), Innate Pharma SA is a global, clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech firm dedicated to enhancing patient treatment and clinical outcomes using therapeutic antibodies that employ the immune system to combat cancer. Its extensive antibody pipeline has numerous potentially first-in-class clinical and preclinical candidates for cancers with a high unmet medical need. In addition, Innate has been a pioneer in the study of natural killer cell (NK cell) biology and developed its expertise in tumor antigens, tumor microenvironment, and antibody engineering. This innovative strategy has resulted in a varied proprietary portfolio and substantial alliances with biopharmaceutical industry leaders, including Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk A/S, and a multi-product collaboration with AstraZeneca.
BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMACY MARKET
XtalPi Inc. | December 20, 2022
XtalPi, a pioneering pharmaceutical technology company powered by artificial intelligence and automation, announced a strategic collaboration with the Experimental Drug Development Centre Singapore's national platform for drug discovery and development hosted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore to discover novel treatment candidates for non-small cell lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. NSCLC accounts for over 80% of all lung cancer cases and its incidence continues to increase globally. The estimated global market size for NSCLC therapeutics will exceed USD20 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets. Despite increasing interest and investment in drug research, there remains significant unmet needs for effective targeted therapy options for NSCLC patients to achieve better outcomes.
In this collaboration, XtalPi joins forces with EDDC to apply its AI technology, automation platform, and expert domain knowledge to discover promising candidates against a NSCLC target chosen by EDDC. XtalPi will leverage its quantum physics and AI-driven platform to generate and screen through millions of molecules in de novo drug design. The predicted top-performing molecules with desirable drug properties will be validated and optimized in its robotics-powered synthesis and testing lab through iterations. EDDC will offer valuable insight and data on the novel NSCLC target, further accelerating the drug discovery process and propelling the program towards development.
"We are delighted to establish this strategic collaboration with EDDC. XtalPi is committed to serving patients globally by advancing the speed, scale, novelty, and success rate of drug R&D with AI and automation. Through this partnership, we hope to continue expanding our collaborations with top-tier research institutes in the booming Pan-Asia biotech community, drive the quick translation of new discoveries into much-needed therapeutics, and contribute to the improved health and longevity of patients in Asia and around the world."
Dr. Shuhao Wen, co-founder and chairman of XtalPi
Professor Damian O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer of EDDC, comments: "We are excited to partner XtalPi in the translation of science and research into effective and targeted therapies that enable the treatment of cancer. With XtalPi's expertise in AI and automation technologies, we are confident that this collaboration will accelerate the development of potential targeted therapy options for NSCLC patients, which are very much needed."
Founded in 2014, XtalPi founders recognized a common hurdle in drug development having to do with solid polymorphism, which could be successfully tackled with quantum physics predictions. Since then, XtalPi has maintained its focus on identifying and then attacking traditional bottlenecks in biopharmaceutical R&D through innovative technologies. Through considerable capital investments in automation and personnel, XtalPi now has four locations worldwide and employs approximately 1000 employees.
BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
Kindeva and | December 13, 2022
Kindeva Drug Delivery and Meridian Medical Technologies announced the completion of the transaction to combine the two companies. The combination has created a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization focused on drug-device combination products. The combination will operate under the Kindeva name, with Meridian operating as, “Meridian Medical Technologies, a Kindeva Company”.
The new Kindeva will have a broader range of drug delivery capabilities, with expertise and technology spanning the parenteral, inhalation, transdermal, and intradermal routes of administration. Milton Boyer, formerly the CEO of Meridian, has been named CEO of the newly combined company.
“The combination of Kindeva and Meridian creates a clear market leader in the drug-device CDMO sector. Customers will benefit from our enhanced scale and broader array of drug delivery solutions,”
Kindeva, formerly known as 3M Drug Delivery Systems, was acquired by Altaris, LLC in 2020 from 3M Company. Kindeva is a global leader in drug-device combination products with a focus on inhalation, transdermal, and intradermal drug delivery. The company has a long track record of innovation, having invented the first metered dose inhaler in the 1950s.
Meridian was acquired by Altaris in December 2021 from Pfizer Inc. Meridian is a leading manufacturer of emergency autoinjectors, having pioneered the emergency autoinjector technology in the 1950s. Meridian owns over 300 patents related to autoinjector drug-device combination products.
ArentFox Schiff LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Truist Securities, Inc. and KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. acted as joint lead arrangers for the transaction.
Kindeva is a global contract development manufacturing organization focused on drug-device combination products. Kindeva develops and manufactures products across a broad range of complex drug-delivery formats, including autoinjectors, inhalers, transdermal patches, and microneedles. Its service offering spans early-stage feasibility through commercial scale drug product fill-finish, container closure system manufacturing and drug-device product assembly. Kindeva serves a global client base from its nine manufacturing and research and development facilities located in the U.S. and U.K.
About Altaris, LLC
Altaris is a healthcare investment firm with an exclusive focus on building companies that deliver value to the healthcare system through innovation and efficiency. Since inception in 2003, Altaris has invested in 49 healthcare companies which have generated significant value appreciation for its investors. Altaris is headquartered in New York City and manages approximately $5 billion of equity capital.