ImmunoGen gets $30M amid Sanofi ADC deal shake-up

The deal will see the biotech focus on mirvetuximab soravtansine as well as "strengthening its cash position."

The pair have a deal that stretches all the way back to 2003, but today ImmunoGen and French Big Pharma Sanofi are retooling their cancer collaboration.

Under this new-look deal, ImmunoGen has given Sanofi a fully paid and exclusive license to develop, manufacture and sell a series of experimental cancer compounds:

  • isatuximab, an unconjugated anti-CD38 antibody in phase 3 for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma
  • SAR566658, an ADC targeting CA6 in phase 2 for triple negative breast cancer
  • SAR408701, an anti-CEACAM5 ADC targeting solid tumors

There is also an additional therapy, another ADC, although this is “directed to an undisclosed target,” according to a statement from the pair.

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And there’s more: The two have also amended a separate 2013 licensing pact that gives Sanofi rights to the compound SAR428926, an anti-LAMP1 ADC, also in solid tumors.

For its part, ImmunoGen gets a $30 million payment, but has “agreed to forego a limited co-promotion option in the U.S. with respect to the compounds covered by the 2003 agreement and future milestones or royalties under both license agreements."

“Amending these agreements allows us to continue to focus on the development of our lead program, mirvetuximab soravtansine [in ovarian cancers], while advancing our earlier-stage portfolio and further strengthening ImmunoGen’s cash position,” said Mark Enyedy, president and CEO of ImmunoGen.

“We believe Sanofi possesses the right resources to complete the development of these innovative candidates and potentially bring them to patients around the globe.”

The two have long-standing deal, but things have not always gone to plan. Back in 2015, when Sanofi was all about trimming its oncology pipeline—a strategy that is now being reversed—the French company abandoned SAR3419, an ImmunoGen ADC designed to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and other blood cancers.

But this has not soured the pacts between both biopharmas, and ImmunoGen has been a big pharma favorite, having deals with Roche, Takeda, Amgen, Bayer and Novartis over the years. Just last week, it also penned a deal with Debiopharm, which bought its phase 2 antibody drug ADC.

Debiopharm got an anti-CD37 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma candidate in return for $25 million (€22 million) up front, plus milestones, from the biotech.

ImmunoGen, which has a market cap just shy of $400 million, was up more than 2% premarket this morning on the news. 

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