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$1B Gambled by Sanofi and bagging Amunix

Sanofi is putting $1 billion towards developing anti-cancer T-cell engagers in the preclinical stage. will acquire Amunix Pharmaceuticals, a West Coast immuno-oncology company, for an upfront payment of $225 million plus up to $225 million in milestone payments. Amunix is developing a pipeline of T-cell engagers based on XPAT, a technique that ensures the molecules activate in tumours rather than healthy tissues, improving their safety.

That effort, which was sponsored by $190 million raised by Amunix over the past two years, has taken lead candidate AMX-818 to the brink of clinical trials—and convinced to cut a big cheque. Sanofi will pay $1 billion up front and $225 million in milestone payments. Sanofi will get control of a wholly owned pipeline led by the HER2 T-cell engager AMX-818, as well as stakes in initiatives developed by Amunix during its time as a technology licencing business.

team has firsthand knowledge with the technology Amunix licenced in its early years, having used the half-life extension platform Pro-XTEN with the phase 3 factor VIII candidate efanesoctocog alfa. However, the biotech Sanofi is buying is not the same as the firm that spent the first ten years of its life licencing half-life extension technology to Biogen, Celgene, and Merck.

Amunix has transformed itself into a player in the red-hot T-cell engager field, which is threatening to disrupt oncology markets, thanks to $190 million in venture capital funding. The commercially available method has the ability to coordinate robust T-cell attacks on solid malignancies. Sanofi isn’t the only company that has noticed the opportunity.

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