Sanofi will acquire Amunix for an upfront payment of approximately $1 billion and up to $225 million upon achievement of certain future development milestones. The acquisition supports Sanofi’s efforts to accelerate and expand its contributions to innovative medicines for oncology patients, with approximately 20 molecules currently in development.
The acquisition is expected to complete in Q1 2022.
With this purchase, Sanofi says it is leveraging its proprietary, clinically validated XTE® and innovative universal protease-releasable masking technology platform, Pro-XTENTM, to discover and develop transformative T-cell engagers (TCE) and cytokine therapies for patients with cancer. Amunix’s pipeline, which includes lead candidate, AMX-818, a masked HER2-directed TCE, offers a strong strategic fit with Sanofi’s focus on developing potentially transformative cancer therapies in immuno-oncology.
“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.
John Reed, Global Head of Research & Development, Sanofi, said: “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.”
Amunix’s proprietary XTEN® masks and cleavable linkers are a next-generation protein engineering approach that allows biologics to circulate in “stealth” mode, becoming active preferentially in disease specific micro-environments, with the aim to enable safer and more efficacious medicines. The technology can be applied to a wide range of existing and potentially new pipeline assets. The molecular design of Amunix’s molecules endows the inactive stealth molecules with long-lasting properties, converting after activation in disease tissues to short half-life agents so that the active molecule is rapidly cleared from the body. Specifically, in immuno-oncology, Amunix’s technology offers the potential to overcome challenges that have plagued the adoption of T-Cell Engager
bi-specific antibodies for solid tumors, including unwanted immune attack of normal healthy cells and systematic widespread immune system activation that leads to side effects such as Cytokine Release Syndrome.
“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.