Pierre Fabre said today it has agreed to acquire “several” cancer immunotherapies from Igenica Biotherapeutics for an undisclosed price, in a deal designed to strengthen the buyer’s oncology pipeline.
Pierre Fabre also did not disclose how many immuno-oncology candidates it acquired—but did say the most advanced of those is a preclinical asset “expected to be administered to patients in the coming 2 to 3 years.” The deal includes candidates designed to target immune checkpoints that may reverse the resistance to existing immunotherapies, as well as a series of early discovery targets.
“This new deal reinforces our position to participate in the revolution of targeted biotherapies and reinforce our commitment to bring substantial value to patients,” Frédéric Duchesne, Pharmaceutical Division CEO at Pierre Fabre, said in a statement.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Laurent Audoly, Ph.D., head of Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals R&D, added that the deal mirrors recent collaborations launched by the company in oncology and dermatology with external partners.
Most recently in oncology, Pierre Fabre in March inked a partnership with H-Immune, a spinout of the French Atomic Energy Commission, aimed at generating anticancer antibody candidates using the immunotherapeutics startup’s proprietary In Vitro Immunization (IVI) technology.
In 2015, Pierre Fabre launched an oncology collaboration with Array BioPharma focused on developing the MEK inhibitor binimetinib and the BRAF inhibitor encorafenib. Pierre Fabre is also developing a second monoclonal antibody in cancer through a partnership launched in 2010 with Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie).
Oncology is one of four therapeutic areas of focus for privately held Pierre Fabre, which is based in Castres, France, and generated €2.28 billion ($2.55 billion) in revenue last year. The company last year spent 14% of its pharmaceutical sales on R&D in cancer and three other areas—dermatology, central nervous system, and consumer health care.
Based in Burlingame, CA, Igenica was established in 2009 and is focused on discovering and developing antibodies for immuno-oncology treatments as well as cancer-fighting antibody–drug conjugates. Igenica’s lead candidate IGN523 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to CD98 and is being assessed in a Phase I clinical study in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.