Pharma friend Innate wants $100M Nasdaq IPO

Innate Pharma already trades publicly in Europe but is now making the jump to the U.S. (Nasdaq)

The initial public offering window still looks wide open for biotech, and French Big Pharma-partnered Innate Pharma is looking to jump right on through.

The immuno-oncology company, which has been around for 20 years, is looking to jump on the Nasdaq with a $100 million offering under the ticker "IPHA." It already trades publicly in Europe but wants to make the move into the much more lucrative U.S. market.

Innate's leading pipeline med is monalizumab, a midstage checkpoint inhibitor designed to block functions of NK and cytotoxic T cells. AstraZeneca paid Innate $170 million (€148 million) to license the anti-NKG2A antibody and secure an option on five other prospects a year ago, with a few hundred million in biobucks also wedded to the deal.

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Innate has, in fact, secured the sizable stream of potential milestones plus upfront fees without totally ceding control of the drugs. Innate has the right to co-promote all the drugs in the EU and take home half the profits, provided it co-funds to late-phase development. The biotech is set to contribute 30% of the cost of the phase 2 and 3 monalizumab trials.

Innate’s interest in having co-promotion rights reflect management's plans to establish the company as a fully integrated biotech. Those plans were given a big boost by the final part of the AstraZeneca deal.

It has also penned similar deals with the likes of Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb and others. According to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it’s in line for more than $5 billion in biobucks from these deals; but, as ever, this would require everything it’s signed working out 100%, which is highly unlikely.

Innate also already has a drug on the market: FDA-approved Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk) for hairy cell leukemia. Innate is licensing the U.S. and EU commercial rights to the drug from AstraZeneca

The biotech will see sales alongside AstraZeneca in the U.S. and “will take full responsibility” by mid-2020.