AstraZeneca has announced it has expanded its scientific cooperation agreement with biotech Innate Pharma, signed in 2015. By expanding the agreement, the British-Swedish group seeks to strengthen its portfolio of immunotherapies for cancer. Specifically, the deal provides AstraZeneca with a license, for US and Europe markets, to the already FDA-approved Lumoxiti (moxetumomab pasudotox-tdfk), for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Moreover, AstraZeneca can now access trials assessing the anti-NKG2A antibody monalizumab, the anti-CD39 antibody IPH5201 and other four promising molecules still in pre-clinical testing stage.
In exchange for those benefits, AstraZeneca will pay Innate Pharma an upfront €325m, plus additional €100m during Q1 2019. Additionally, the company has invested €6.26m to purchase 9.8% of the Paris-based biotech company at €10 per share, which more than doubles the shares’ latest closing price. Innate’s shares have increased over 50% (Paris) as the agreement was announced.