OSE Immunotherapeutics SA announced that the company has entered into a worldwide license option agreement with Servier, an independent international pharmaceutical company, for the development and commercialization of OSE Immunotherapeutics’ Effi-7, an antagonist of the interleukin-7 receptor.
Under the terms of the agreement, OSE Immunotherapeutics grants Servier a license option on the exclusive worldwide rights for the development and commercialization of its product Effi-7. OSE Immunotherapeutics is eligible to receive up to €272 million including an upfront payment of €10.25 million and additional payments of €30 million upon the exercise of a two-steps option license. These steps will enable the development of Effi-7 up to the completion of a phase 2 clinical trial planned in ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune bowel disease. Further payments will be linked to the achievement of clinical development and registration in multiple indications, as well as sales milestones with double-digit royalties on sales.
Effi-7 is a monoclonal immunomodulatory antibody targeting the alpha chain of the interleukin-7 receptor (IL-7R-alpha or CD127 receptor). Effi-7 has an innovative mechanism of action: it blocks both the IL-7 and the internalization of the receptor, thus inducing a powerful antagonist effect on the pathogenic T lymphocytes involved in autoimmune diseases. This mechanism has been confirmed recently through multiple in vitro studies.
Currently in preclinical stage for ulcerative colitis, the development of Effi-7 will also be pursued until the clinical phase 2 as part of the EFFIMab consortium, led by OSE Immunotherapeutics and including the University Hospital of Nantes and the company PxTherapeutics. This development is co-financed by Bpifrance for €9.1 million (on a total amount of €20 million). Servier will take further development in charge after this phase 2.
Dominique Costantini, Chief Executive Officer at OSE Immunotherapeutics, comments: “We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with Servier, which will allow the availability of new therapeutic options for patients suffering from invalidating autoimmune pathologies. This agreement validates the strong potential and the attractiveness of our breakthrough immunotherapies, developed by a leading team that I would like to thank warmly. We are looking forward to working with the Servier R&D team to make this global partnership a success”.
In parallel, Servier plans to start preclinical studies in the Sjögren syndrome. This disease, which provokes dryness of salivary and lacrimal glands, is the second most frequent auto-immune disease, with an incidence of 0.6 for 1,000 adults. A third of the patients have a systemic syndrome and the pathology leads to an increased risk of B lymphoma and pulmonary fibrosis (by lymphocyte infiltration). Sjödren syndrome has no curative treatment as of today. This parallel approach will allow, in line with Servier’s strategy, to speed up the development of promising drugs for diseases with strong unmet medical needs.
Patricia Belissa-Mathiot, Director of the R&D department for immune-inflammatory diseases at Servier, concludes: “This partnership shows our willingness to focus our research on pathologies with very strong medical needs and to bring innovative therapeutic solutions to patients suffering from auto-inflammatory diseases. It demonstrates our commitment for research and the importance of partnerships with biotech companies”.More information: http://ose-immuno.com
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Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a non-profit Foundation and headquartered in France. With a strong international presence in 148 countries and a turnover of 4 billion euro in 2016, Servier employs over 21,000 people worldwide. Corporate growth is driven by Servier’s constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, immune-inflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as by its activities in high quality generic drugs. Being completely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of Servier’s products turnover in Research and Development, and all its profits in its growth.More information is available at: www.servier.com