Ichnos Sciences is looking forward for more partnerships for its innovative assets, especially for its other auto-immune asset – ISB 830 following its exclusive licensing agreement with Almirall for the IL-1RAP antagonist ISB 880 recently.
Ichnos Sciences is a 100 percent subsidiary of Glenmark, which it spun off in 2019 into a US based biotech company. Ichnos Sciences focuses on biologics and have 5 oncology and 2 immunology assets (assets for auto immune diseases).
As per terms of the agreement, Almirall will assume full cost and responsibility for the global development and commercialization of the compound for all autoimmune disease indications.
Ichnos will receive an upfront payment of €20.8 million as well as additional development and commercial milestone payments and tiered royalties based upon future global sales. Ichnos will retain rights for antibodies acting on the IL-1RAP pathway for oncology indications.
Ichnos Sciences Inc is a global biotechnology company developing innovative biologics in oncology and autoimmune diseases and Almirall S A is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health
“Between Glenmark and Ichnos Sciences, this is our eighth out-licensing deal in the innovation space over the last two decades, which makes us the pioneers in pharma research across the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Across these eight deals, Glenmark received around USD 250 – USD 300 Million of cash by out-licencing innovative molecules (intellectual properties) over the years with pharma companies. Ichnos also has another auto-immune asset i.e ISB 830 for which we look for partners as we go forward. The rest of the portfolio of products is in oncology, all biologics. As far as way forward from this deal is concerned, the benefit is we get free cash that will help us in reducing debts,” according to Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and Managing Director, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
“Going forward we will look for deals in Oncology and for rest of the auto immune assets. Now that Ichnos is independent and has done this deal, there should be more licensing partnerships in the future. Primary focus of Ichnos is Oncology. For this deal, the upfront payment is around Rs 180 crores (USD 23.5 million or Euro 20.8 million) and phase wise payments on achieving key milestones,” he added.
ISB 880 is a first-in-class fully human, high affinity monoclonal antibody that targets human IL-1RAP. Blockade of IL-1RAP simultaneously abrogates multiple disease drivers among the IL-1 family of proinflammatory cytokine receptors, including IL- 1R, IL-33R, and IL-36R, differentiating ISB 880 from single cytokine blockade therapies. These cytokines have been implicated in numerous autoimmune conditions, opening opportunities for ISB 880 to be positioned across broad disease indications. IND-enabling work has been conducted and filings with regulatory authorities are under development.
“This is an exciting step forward for Ichnos as we enhance our focus on oncology and accelerate the pipeline of multispecific antibodies based on our proprietary, BEAT platform,” said Cyril Konto, MD, President and CEO of Ichnos.
“ISB 880 anti- IL-1RAP antagonist illustrates Ichnos’ core capabilities in biologics discovery and manufacturing, as well as its strategy to advance a pipeline with potential first- or best-in-class assets. Almirall’s excellent team is well positioned to take ISB 880 through testing and development with the goal of delivering this potential new treatment to patients,” he added.
“Given its novel mechanism of action, we believe that ISB 880 has great potential to treat underserved patients across a range of autoimmune dermatological diseases,” said Karl Ziegelbauer, Ph.D, CSO of Almirall.
“We look forward to beginning to work on ISB 880 and based on the significant data generated by Ichnos we plan to initiate the first-in-human study in the first half of 2022,” he added.
Ichnos headquartered in New York is rapidly advancing a clinical-stage pipeline of novel, first-in- class candidates designed to address complex diseases and to treat patients holistically. With its patented BEAT technology platform1, Ichnos Sciences has a mission to provide breakthrough, curative therapies that will extend and improve lives, writing a new chapter in healthcare.
Ichnos continues to advance its pipeline of multispecific antibodies in oncology, with the lead asset, ISB 1342, a CD38 x CD3 bispecific antibody, in Phase 1, and ISB 1442, a CD38 x CD47 2+1 biparatopic bispecific antibody, in IND-enabling 1 Bispecific Engagement by Antibodies based on the T-cell receptor studies. Both molecules are being investigated as potential treatments for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and other CD38 expressing hematological malignancies. Additional assets from the BEAT platform may be viewed on the pipeline page of the Ichnos website.
Glenmark’s innovation journey spans across past two decades with its first molecule, GRC 3886 that was out-licensed to Forest Laboratories for USD 35 Million, including upfront and milestone payments, way back in 2004. Over the years before Ichnos was spun off, Glenmark saw six more out-licensing deals for its innovative assets, which has been a milestone in the Indian Pharma Industry.
Almirall is a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Barcelona.