Ipsen Adds Another Program To Its Preclinical Oncology R&D Pipeline Through Exclusive Global Collaboration With Accent Therapeutics, Targeting RNA Modification Protein, METTL3
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Ipsen (Euronext: IPN; ADR: IPSEY) and Accent Therapeutics (Accent) have signed an exclusive global collaboration agreement for the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of Accent’s preclinical METTL3 program.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a difficult-to-treat cancer of the blood and bone marrow, accounting for one-third of all new cases of leukemia in the United States each year.1 Globally, the incidence of AML has increased year on year over the past 20 years.2 RNA-modifying proteins (RMP) are an emerging target class that control multiple aspects of RNA biology and represent a new approach for the potential treatment of various cancers. METTL3 is an RMP that has been validated preclinically as a new therapeutic target for AML.1.3 This collaboration combines Accent’s expertise in RMP targeting therapies with Ipsen’s proven capabilities and track record in oncology drug development and commercialization.
Christelle Huguet, Senior Vice President, Head of Research, External Innovation and Early Development, Ipsen, said: “Oncology is a key focus area for Ipsen as we develop our pipeline. We are delighted to partner with Accent to advance the METTL3 program as we continue our expansion in hematologic oncology. Our teams are unwavering in our commitment to areas with high unmet medical need, including rare cancers. This collaboration is therefore strongly aligned with Ipsen’s mission and growth strategy.
Shakti Narayan, CEO of Accent Therapeutics said: “This collaboration combines Ipsen’s commitment to the development and commercialization of transformative oncology drugs with Accent’s leading expertise in RNA modification. As we focus on developing our rich portfolio of novel RMP targeted therapies, we are pleased to entrust our METTL3 program to the innovative team at Ipsen to bring this new investigational therapy to patients in need.
As part of the deal, Ipsen will pay up to $ 446 million, comprising an upfront payment as well as pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and sales-based milestone payments, as well as installment sales royalties ranging from a medium digit to a two digit low digit.
One of the most prevalent modifications in mRNA is the methylation of the adenine base at the N6 position, resulting in N6-methyladenosine (m6A). This modification is catalyzed by the enzyme complex methyltransferase METTL3 / METTL14. m6A is involved in several aspects of mRNA stability and turnover, controls the translation of oncogenes that confer growth advantage and migratory behavior, and has become a key mRNA modification implicated in hematologic cancers. METTL3 and / or METTL14 knockout promotes AML differentiation and apoptosis and has been shown to be important for both in vitro and in vivo growth of AML. Accent Therapeutic’s new investigational small molecule METTL3 inhibitors seek to treat specific AML subtypes with a high unmet medical need.
Ipsen is a mid-sized global biopharmaceutical company specializing in transformative drugs in oncology, rare diseases and neuroscience; it also has a well-established activity in the field of general public health. With total sales of more than 2.5 billion euros in fiscal year 2020, Ipsen sells more than 20 drugs in more than 115 countries, with a direct commercial presence in more than 30 countries. The Company’s research and development efforts are focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located at the heart of the main biotechnology and life sciences centers: Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, United Kingdom; Cambridge, United States; Shanghai, China. Ipsen has around 5,700 employees worldwide and is listed in Paris (Euronext: IPN) and in the United States via a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt (ADR: IPSEY) program. For more information, visit ipsen.com.
Accent Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing small molecule therapies focused on oncology in the emerging field of RNA modification. This area of biology encompasses the post-transcriptional chemical modifications of RNA that provide cells with a unique mechanism for regulating proteins essential for cell growth and differentiation. By targeting cancer-linked RNA-modifying proteins (RMP) with precision therapies, the company is translating extraordinary science into life-changing therapies. For more information, please visit accenttx.com.
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1 American Cancer Society. Key statistics for acute myeloid leukemia. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/acute-myeloid-leukemia/about/key-statistics.html
2 Yin Dong, Oumin Shi, Quanxiang Zeng, Xiaoquin Lu, Wei Wang, Yong Li, Qi Wang, Yong Li and Qi Wang, Trends in the incidence of leukemia at global, regional and national levels between 1990 and 2017. Experimental hematology and oncology 9, Article number 14. 2020
3 Shane M Buker, Zachary A Gurard-Levin, Benjamin D Wheeler, Michael D Scholle, April W Case, Jeffrey L Hirsch, Scott Ribich, Robert A Copeland, P Ann Boriack-Sjodin. A mass spectrometry assay of the METTL3 / METTL14 methyltransferase activity. SLAS Discov. Apr 2020; 25 (4): 361-371. Published online 4 Oct 2019