IPC, The comprehensive Cancer Center of Marseille, and Innate Pharma collaborate on Translational Research for Novel Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
The Paoli Calmettes Institute (IPC), a private not-for-profit comprehensive cancer center in Marseille, France, has initiated a collaboration with Innate Pharma SA (Euronext Paris: FR0010331421 – IPH), a biopharmaceutical company based in Marseille, to conduct translational research aimed at identifying specific populations of patients with hematological cancers who may benefit most from treatment with Innate Pharma’s novel proprietary antibodies, and to identify associated biomarkers.
Nicolai Wagtmann, Chief Science Officer of Innate Pharma, said: “This agreement strengthens our translational research capabilities, at the core of our drug development process. IPC is a leading center in hematology-oncology with deep understanding in immunology and capabilities in immune monitoring. Early-stage testing of Innate Pharma’s promising antibodies on patient samples will greatly optimize subsequent clinical development by better identifying the most relevant indications, patient populations and biomarkers”.
Pr. Patrice Viens, Chief Executive Officer of IPC, stated that “This new R&D collaboration with Innate Pharma further expands a long-lasting relationship which started with lirilumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody blocking the interaction between Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) on NK cells with their ligands on tumor cells. IPC conducted the “first-in-man study” of lirilumab and continues to be involved in the development of this drug. IPC and Innate Pharma are also involved in other partnerships within the frame of the Marseille SIRIC* and of Marseille Immunopole **”.
The collaboration will operate under the direction of Pr. Daniel Olive, Head of the Immunity and Cancer research team and of the immune monitoring platform at IPC, and Pascale André, Senior Director, R&D, at Innate Pharma. It will also involve drug-discovery research teams and experts in translational research at IPC, including Pr. Norbert Vey and Pr. Anthony Gonçalvès, and other scientists with expertise in converting promising drug discoveries into clinical treatments for cancer patients.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, IPC will test Innate Pharma’s new therapeutic antibodies in immuno-oncology using IPC’s extensive biological resource collection. Innate Pharma’s antibodies are designed to block immune checkpoints, one of the most promising classes of drugs in oncology. These immune checkpoints interfere with the natural defense mechanisms of our immune system against cancer and regulate immunosuppressive mechanisms. Their blockade can unleash the patient’s immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. However, only a fraction of patients respond to current immune checkpoint inhibitors, and identifying the population of patients most likely to respond to various checkpoint blockers would be of great interest. This R&D collaboration will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic antibodies by identifying the best suited patient population and indications for a given drug.
* The Marseille SIRIC is the site for integrated cancer research focused on breast cancer, leukemia and myelodystrophy, glioma and pancreatic cancer funded by the French National Cancer Institute, which brings together IPC, the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM) and their associated research centers.
** Marseille Immunopole is a unique collaborative ecosystem for therapeutic innovation in immunology, integrating all the skills from academic to clinic. It aims to make Marseille the European capital of the R&D of immune-based therapy