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Innate Pharma and Novo Nordisk A/S sign licensing deal which opens new avenue in cancer immunotherapy

Innate Pharma SAS announced today the closing of an important research, development and licensing deal with Novo Nordisk A/S [NVO] aiming at the generation of a new therapeutic class of immuno-modulatory antibodies targeting natural killer (NK) cells.

NK cells are a subset of non-conventional lymphocytes involved in immune regulation, and exerting direct cyto-toxicity towards a wide range of tumor targets. Molecular understanding of this promising field emerged in the late 90s thanks to the pioneering work of scientists associated with Innate Pharma. This novel therapeutic strategy has been recently validated in leukemia patients and published in Science (Ruggeri et al (2002), Science 295, 2097-2100). Under the terms of this agreement, Innate Pharma grants Novo Nordisk A/S with exclusive rights for one family of receptor targets expressed by NK cells. Innate Pharma has obtained preliminary proof of concept for products acting on this target. Novo Nordisk and Innate Pharma will now collaborate in a research program to further develop this concept for treatment of cancer. Major European academic institutions from Italy, France and Sweden will contribute with valuable research and consultancy. Novo Nordisk will be the sole party to develop and commercialize the resulting product. Innate Pharma will retain some rights to later develop the product in orphan indications. Innate Pharma is eligible for license fees, milestone payments and royalties. NN has rights for all indications, the primary target indications being in oncology. Financial terms will not be disclosed. Hervé Brailly, CEO of Innate Pharma, says: "This is a very important agreement for Innate Pharma from a scientific, strategic and financial standpoint, and a major step-up for a product-oriented company such as Innate. This agreement provides the company with a third party validation for its innovative approach targeting non-conventional lymphocytes. Novo Nordisk is a reference partner in the field of therapeutic proteins, bringing to the project a comprehensive panel of technologies in protein engineering, and first class development and marketing capacities, thus maximizing chances of technical and commercial success. Through this deal, Innate Pharma secures significant short term cash in, providing unique comfort to the company to implement its clinical development program in the next years. In case of success, the Novo Nordisk alliance may also bring key revenues to Innate in the long run. We feel that the product has a great potential not only in cancer, but also to address effectively and safely other life-threatening conditions affecting the immune system." About Novo Nordisk:,Novo Nordisk is a focused healthcare company. With the broadest diabetes product portfolio in the industry, including the most advanced products within the area of insulin delivery systems, Novo Nordisk is a world leader in diabetes care. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as hemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 18,700 people in 68 countries and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For further company information visit ,About Innate Pharma:,Innate Pharma S.A.S. is a French biopharmaceutical company in clinical development stage specialized in cancer immuno-therapeutics. It is the first company to develop immuno-modulating medications and cellular therapies targeting non-conventional lymphocytes. The company has currently two products in Phase I of clinical development in cancer. The company was founded in 1999, and raised Euro 25m in private funding since inception in two rounds of financing. Companies investing in Innate are Sofinnova Partners, Auriga, GIMV, INSERM Transfert, Alta Partners, Axa Private Equity, Gilde Biotech and Nutrition, Pechel Industries and Innoveris. For further company information, visit


France, Italy, Sweden