Innovent Biologics and Sanofi Enter Strategic Collaboration to Accelerate Development of Oncology Medicines and Expand Presence in China

  • Collaboration to accelerate the development and access of oncology medicines for cancer patients in China
  • Clinical trial programs combining two of Sanofi's prioritized oncology assets with sintilimab, the leading checkpoint inhibitor in China, to address some of the most prevalent solid tumors in China
  • Sanofi to make an initial equity investment of €300 million in Innovent in addition to the strategic multi-product collaboration
  • This strategic partnership demonstrates Innovent and Sanofi's commitment to bringing high quality oncology medicines to patients in China

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA and SUZHOU, China I August 4, 2022 I Innovent Biologics, Inc. ("Innovent", HKEX: 01801), a world-class biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and commercializes high-quality medicines for the treatment of cancer, metabolic, autoimmune and other major diseases, and Sanofi announced a collaboration to bring innovative medicines to patients in China with difficult-to-treat cancers. 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.

Dr. Michael Yu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Innovent, stated, " 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."

Dr. John Reed, Global Head of Research and Development at Sanofi, stated," 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."

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 payments 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 alpha 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.

About SAR408701

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. Tusamitamab ravtansine is currently in a Phase 3 study for second-line NSCLC globally including China, and global Phase 2 studies in additional indications including first-line NSCLC, gastric cancers and other solid tumors.

About SAR444245

SAR444245 is a potential first-in-class recombinant human IL-2 (rIL-2) variant that includes a site-directed single PEG moiety/chain that prevents it from binding to the α chain of the IL-2 receptor while retaining near-native affinity for the beta/gamma subunits.

SAR444245 is currently being investigated in global Phase 2 studies for the treatment of skin cancers, gastrointestinal cancer, NSCLC / mesothelioma, head and neck tumors, and lymphoma.

About Sintilimab (TYVYT®)

Sintilimab, marketed as TYVYT® (sintilimab injection) in China, is a PD-1 immunoglobulin G4 monoclonal antibody jointly developed by Innovent and Eli Lilly and Company. Innovent is currently conducting more than 20 clinical studies of sintilimab to evaluate its safety and efficacy in a wide variety of cancer indications, including more than 10 registrational or pivotal clinical trials. In China, sintilimab has been approved for six indications including relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin's lymphoma, first-line treatment of non-squamous NSCLC, first-line treatment of squamous NSCLC, first-line treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, first-line treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and first-line treatment of gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, of which the first four indications have been included in the National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL).

About Innovent

Inspired by the spirit of "Start with Integrity, Succeed through Action," Innovent's mission is to develop, manufacture and commercialize high-quality biopharmaceutical products that are affordable to ordinary people. Established in 2011, Innovent is committed to developing, manufacturing and commercializing high-quality innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune, metabolic, ophthalmology and other major diseases. On October 31, 2018, Innovent was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 01801.HK.

Since its inception, Innovent has developed a fully integrated multi-functional platform which includes R&D, CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls), clinical development and commercialization capabilities. Leveraging the platform, the company has built a robust pipeline of 34 valuable assets in the fields of cancer, metabolic, autoimmune disease and other major therapeutic areas, with 7 products approved for marketing in China – TYVYT® (sintilimab injection), BYVASDA® (bevacizumab biosimilar injection), SULINNO® (adalimumab biosimilar injection), HALPRYZA® (rituximab biosimilar injection) , Pemazyre® (pemigatinib oral inhibitor), olverembatinib (BCR ABL TKI) and Cyramza® (ramucirumab), 3 asset under NMPA NDA review, 4 assets in Phase 3 or pivotal clinical trials, and an additional 20 molecules in clinical studies.

Innovent has built an international team with advanced talent in high-end biological drug development and commercialization, including many global experts. The company has also entered into strategic collaborations with Eli Lilly and Company, Sanofi, Adimab, Incyte, MD Anderson Cancer Center and other international partners. Innovent strives to work with many collaborators to help advance China's biopharmaceutical industry, improve drug availability and enhance the quality of the patients' lives. For more information, please visit: www.innoventbio.com. and www.linkedin.com/company/innovent-biologics/.

About Sanofi 

We are an innovative global healthcare company, driven by one purpose: we chase the miracles of science to improve people's lives. Our team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally, while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the center of our ambitions. 

SOURCE: Innovent Biologics

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