ImmuNext has entered into an agreement with Sanofi to develop a novel protein for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Under the agreement, milestone payments to ImmuNext could reach up to $500 million, in addition to tiered royalties up to double digits on sales of products.

“Sanofi is committed to expanding our pipeline of specialty care products in multiple sclerosis, where we have established a strong foundation, and immunology, where we are poised to launch new treatments this year for atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis,” said Frank Nestle, M.D., global head of immunology and inflammation research therapeutic area and North America CSO at Sanofi. “We are excited to collaborate with Dr. Noelle and the team at ImmuNext on this promising endeavor.”

The candidate INX-201 is a CD40L monoclonal antibody (mAb) in preclinical development that has the potential to treat a range of autoimmune diseases, including lupus and mulitple sclerosis (MS). The two companies plan to initiate a research collaboration to support clinical trials in the future.

“The immunoregulatory molecule CD40L is critical to the progression of a wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases,” said Randolph Noelle, Ph.D., co-founder and CSO of ImmuNext and professor of microbiology and immunology, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College. “Antibodies that block the function of CD40L have proven in preclinical models of autoimmunity to be amongst the most effective agents in treating disease. The development of anti-CD40L for the treatment of autoimmune diseases offers a unique opportunity to silence disease progression and offer long-term remission.”

This announcement comes just 1 month after ImmuNext entered into an agreement with Roche to develop VISTA (V-region immunoglobulin-containing suppressor of T-cell activation) signaling pathway agonists for immunotherapy. That deal could mean milestone payments to ImmuNext of up to $400 million, plus tiered royalties up to double digits on sales of products.

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