Innate shares soar on record $465M antibody pact with BMS

Bristol-Myers Squibb has added one more early-stage pearl to its string of development projects. France's Innate Pharma grabbed the spotlight in the antibody world with its $465 million development pact with the trendsetting BMS. Its shares soared by 65% after Innate announced that it will bank a $35 million upfront in the deal, which gives BMS worldwide rights to a Phase I anti-cancer antibody dubbed IPH2102.

Marseilles-based Innate laid claim to the largest licensing pact ever struck by a French biotech, which includes an impressive $430 million in milestones. And analysts seemed duly impressed by the numbers, which includes a double-digit royalty figure. "Such amounts became rare lately in the French biotech sector and are usually devoted to more advanced molecules," noted Aurel BGC in a story from Reuters.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb's String of Pearls strategy seeks to establish collaborations with leading innovator companies across the globe" said Mike Seeley, general manager, France, Bristol-Myers Squibb, in a release. "We are excited to establish an important such collaboration in France with Innate Pharma, a pioneer in the field of innate immunity."

Innate Pharma plans to continue to develop IPH2102 in acute myeloid leukemia through the end of Phase II. The French biotech will also provide pre-clinical support for the development of IPH2102 and Bristol-Myers Squibb will fund the development of IPH2102. Denmark's Novo Nordisk owns 15% of Innate.

- see the BMS release
- check out the Reuters story