Sanofi Partners with Immune Design for Immunotherapies

Sanofi and Immune Design, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, have formed a licensing agreement for the use of Immune Design’s GLAAS discovery platform to develop therapeutic agents to treat a selected food allergy. Immune Design’s technologies are engineered to activate the immune system’s natural ability to create tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells while enhancing other immune effectors to fight cancer and other chronic diseases.

Under the agreement, Immune Design has granted Sanofi an exclusive license to discover, develop, and commercialize products to treat a selected food allergy. The company has received an undisclosed upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development and commercialization milestones totaling $168 million, as well as tiered royalties on sales of approved products. Under an existing collaborative research arrangement, Sanofi and Immune Design have generated a large set of preclinical data demonstrating that certain formulations within GLAAS, when given prophylactically or therapeutically, can shift the immune responses in a way that may result in significant protection and reduction from allergy symptoms.

​Immune Design’s GLAAS platform works in vivo and is based on a small synthetic molecule called GLA (glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant). GLA selectively binds to the TLR4 receptor and causes potent activation of dendritic cells (DCs) leading to the production of cytokines and chemokines that drive a Th1-type immune response. When GLA is accompanied by an antigen and injected into a patient, the combination is taken up by DCs and leads to the production and expansion of immune cells called CD4 T helper lymphocytes with a Th1 phenotype. These CD4 T cells play a key role in boosting pre-existing CTLs that are specific to the same antigen and provide help to other immune cells, including B lymphocytes that are the precursor to antibodies, and natural killer cells that are also important in the overall immune response. Immune Design believes that GLAAS product candidates have the potential to target multiple types of cancer as well as infectious, allergic, and autoimmune diseases.

Source: Immune Design

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