Sanofi in immunotherapy tie-up
Sanofi has signed a 15-year deal with biopharma company Transgene to produce a platform to help create a range of immunotherapy treatments.
The companies will each put in €5 million, with the new platform – which will remain the property of Sanofi – developed on Genzyme Polyclonals’ site near Lyon in France.
The company already manufactures polyclonal antibodies there and Sanofi and Genzyme will in effect become Transgene’s contract manufacturing organisation.
They will produce clinical and commercial batches of Transgene’s immunotherapy products, including its MVA1 therapeutic vaccines, there – and a key part of the deal is that Transgene will be a preferred customer with the new platform for the next 15 years.
“This collaboration will secure Transgene’s commercial production over the long run, enabling us to focus our resources on development and marketing of our products,” explained Transgene chairman Philippe Archinard.
Construction of the new manufacturing facility is expected to begin in the third quarter of the year, and should be finished at the start of 2015. First batches of commercial grade products from the site are expected later that year, which Transgene expecting to file its first BLA2 in 2016.
The platform could be made available to other customers too. This is the latest agreement for Strasbourg-based Transgene, which is part of the Institut Mérieux Group and focuses on oncology and chronic infectious diseases.
Its four most advanced products have generated proof of concept data in randomised clinical studies: in lung cancer (TG4010), liver cancer (Pexa-Vec), hepatitis C (TG4040) and HPV-related cervical lesions (TG4001).
It also has a tie-up with Novartis for the development of TG4010 and with US-based Jennerex Biotherapeutics to develop and market Pexa-Vec.
And the firm has a deal with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) to develop TG4001 in HPV-induced head and neck cancers.
These products are all currently in Phase II trials.
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