Sanofi is adding to its multiple myeloma treatment toolbox with a novel target that could cost more than $1 billion in biobucks.
The French Big Pharma penned a licensing agreement with Eureka Therapeutics and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for the non-CAR use of a new, human binding domain that targets G Protein Coupled Receptor Family C Group 5 Member D (GPRC5D).
Eureka discovered the binding domain using its proprietary antibody discovery platform and was developed under a collaboration with MSK.
Sanofi is not new to the cancer that affects plasma cells and impacts nearly 130,000 people in the U.S. In March 2020, the FDA approved the pharma's monoclonal antibody Sarclisa in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone for relapsed refractory multiple myeloma who had already had several treatments. And just this March, the FDA approved Sarclisa for another combo pathway.
Now, the pharma is looking to the future for treating the disease as well as boosting its fairly modest cancer pipeline—though one it has been slowly building up with external pacts of late.
"Targeting GPRC5D has the potential to improve the durability of response from current therapies and to improve the long-term clinical benefits for patients," said Eureka CEO and President Cheng Liu, Ph.D.
The deal with Sanofi is a big get for the series E-stage Eureka. The biotech is also in a series of phase 1 and 2 studies across multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Eureka is also working on a daily human antibody nasal spray meant to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In December, the company said the spray provides at least 10 hours of protection against infection in mice, but there is still a long way to go to prove that in the clinic.