Immune Design announces agreement with Sanofi for allergy therapeutics

Immune Design stands to receive up to $168 million in milestones, beyond an upfront payment and sales royalties

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Sanofi and clinical-stage immunotherapy company Immune Design have inked a license agreement to deploy Immune Design’s GLAAS discovery platform to develop therapeutics agent for the treatment of a selected food allergy.
Per the terms of the agreement, Sanofi has been granted an exclusive license for the discovery, development and commercialization of products to treat the chosen food allergy. Immune Design has received an upfront payment of an undisclosed amount and will be eligible to receive development and commercialization milestone totaling $168 million, in addition to royalties on sales of any approved products resulting from the agreement.
“Our fourth agreement for the use of the GLAAS platform further demonstrates the broad applicability of this approach, not only in cancer and infectious diseases, but now in allergic diseases as well,” Stephen Brady, chief business officer at Immune Design, commented in a statement. “Due to the immune dysfunction leading to allergic diseases, GLAAS’ mechanism of action is well suited to correct the imbalance, allowing for the potential of new therapeutics in the targeted indication that currently uses century-old technologies. We are pleased that Sanofi has decided to develop products for this often life-threatening and growing food allergy.”
Immune Design’s GLAAS platform is based on a small synthetic molecule known as GLA (glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant) and functions in vivo. GLA selectively binds to the TLR4 receptor, causing potent activation of dendritic cells leading to the production of cytokines and chemokines that engender a Th1-type immune response. When paired with an antigen and injected, it is taken up by dendritic cells, resulting in the production of CD4 T helper lymphocytes with a Th1 phenotype, which play a key role in helping a number of immune cells.
“This is an exciting time in the area of immunology research, and our relationship with Immune Design is a great example of how Sanofi has changed our approach to R&D,” Kurt Stoeckli, vice president and head of Global Bio Therapeutics Organization, Sanofi, said in a press release. “With this partnership, we are able to tap into breakthrough science that holds great potential to transform how food allergies are treated, and the lives of those people affected. This kind of innovation is central to our new approach.”
This is not the first time the companies have worked together; Sanofi and Immune Design have an existing collaborative research arrangement underway in which they have generated a large set of preclinical data that demonstrate that particular formulations within GLAAS, when administered either prophylactically or therapeutically, can alter immune responses in a way that could provide significant protection and reduction from allergy symptoms.
SOURCE: Immune Design press release

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