FRANCE – Sanofi and IGM Biosciences have formed an exclusive global partnership to create, develop, manufacture, and commercialize immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody agonists for oncology, immunology, and inflammation targets.

The alliance will use the IgM antibody technology platform to detect agonists against three oncology targets and three immunology/inflammation targets.

Engineered IgM antibodies are a new class of potential therapies that combine IgM antibody multivalency with ten binding sites.

According to the terms of the agreement, IGM is entitled to a US$150 million upfront payment from Sanofi, as well as a total payment of more than US$6 billion if various development, regulatory, and commercial milestones are met.

Sanofi also plans to purchase IGM’s non-voting common stock for up to US$100 million in public funds.

IGM will be in charge of overseeing the research and development efforts for each of the partnership’s oncology targets.

The company will also cover the associated costs until the Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency approves the first biologics license application (BLA) for a product.

In this regard, Sanofi will pay IGM up to US$940 million in development and regulatory milestone payments for each oncology target.

Sanofi will oversee the entire development and marketing operations for that oncology target, with the goal of obtaining the first marketing approval for a cancer treatment product.

In some key markets, IGM and Sanofi will split profits equally, while IGM will receive tiered royalty payments on net product sales in other markets around the world.

IGM will also be in charge of all research and development activities for each immunology/inflammation target collaboration program.

It will also manage the associated costs until the Phase I trial of up to two constructs for each immunology/inflammation target is completed.

Sanofi will pay up to over US$1 billion in development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for each immunology/inflammation target.

The company will handle future development, marketing, and related costs.

For these targets, tiered royalty payments on worldwide net product sales will be made to IGM by Sanofi.

Sanofi Research and Development global head John Reed said: “The IGM Biosciences technology platform offers an exciting approach to developing high-avidity IgM antibodies that can efficiently bind and stimulate the activity of cell surface receptors.

This unique platform has the potential to overcome historical limitations of conventional IgG antibodies when seeking agonists of some classes of receptors.”

The latest development follows the signing of a collaboration and exclusive license agreement between Sanofi and Adagene for the development of masked monoclonal and bispecific antibodies.

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