Sanofi To Acquire Amunix’s Immuno-oncology pipeline

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Sanofi will acquire Amunix’s immuno-oncology pipeline, which includes Conditionally Activated Biologics of the next generation. Sanofi announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Amunix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an immuno-oncology company that uses its proprietary, clinically validated XTEN and Pro-XTENTM universal protease-releasable masking technology platform T-cell engagers (TCE) and cytokine treatments for cancer patients must be discovered and developed.

Sanofi’s commitment on creating potentially transformational cancer medicines in immuno-oncology aligns well with Amunix’s pipeline, which includes lead candidate AMX-818, a masked HER2-directed TCE. Sanofi will buy Amunix for about $1 billion up front and up to $225 million if certain future development milestones are met, according to the terms of the agreement.

Sanofi’s ambitions to accelerate and broaden its contributions to novel medicines for oncology patients are aided by the acquisition, which has roughly 20 compounds in development.

“This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in promising research and discovery platforms. The Amunix technology platform utilizes a next generation smart biologics approach to precisely tailor-deliver medicines to become active only in tumor tissues while sparing normal tissues, thus bringing the promise of more effective and safer treatment options for cancer patients. We are excited to rapidly advance Amunix’s promising pipeline and to combine their innovative candidate medicines with complementary molecules in Sanofi’s immuno-oncology portfolio,”

said John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research & Development, Sanofi. 

The XTEN masks and cleavable linkers developed by Amunix are a next-generation protein engineering technology that allows biologics to circulate in “stealth” mode, becoming active preferentially in disease-specific micro-environments, with the goal of enabling safer and more efficacious medications. The technique can be used on a variety of pipeline assets, both existing and potential new ones. The inactive stealth molecules are endowed with long-lasting qualities by the chemical design of Amunix’s compounds, which transition to short half-life agents after activation in disease tissues, allowing the active molecule to be promptly eliminated from the body.

In immuno-oncology, Amunix’s technology has the ability to overcome issues that have hindered the adoption of T-Cell Engager bi-specific antibodies for solid tumours, such as unwanted immune attack on normal healthy cells and widespread immune system activation that causes side effects like Cytokine Release Syndrome.

“We are very proud of what the extraordinary and diverse Amunix team has accomplished in the development of our Pro-XTEN technology and rapid expansion of our pipeline,”

said Angie You, Ph.D., CEO, Amunix. 

“We now look forward to combining forces with Sanofi’s team to leverage its expertise and together serve as a center of excellence in bringing these potentially better and safer drug candidates to patients,”

said Volker Schellenberger, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, Amunix.

The deal is subject to the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 expiring or terminating, as well as other normal closing conditions. Sanofi plans to close the deal in the first quarter of 2022.

Continues to add to the company’s strong pipeline of T-cell engagers and cytokine treatments, with lead candidate AMX-818 set to enter clinical trials in early 2022. Sanofi’s existing R&D platforms are supplemented by Amunix Pro-XTENTM, XPAT, and XPACTM technology.

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