The two companies had previously engaged in a two-year immuno-oncology collaboration, with Servier seeing enough potential in Symphogen’s platform to proceed with an acquisition.
The decision will see the latter company’s operations, based in Ballerup, Denmark, turned into an ‘antibody center of excellence’ within Servier’s network. Symphogen stated that its current employees will be retained for future work.
No financial details for the deal were revealed but the completion of the arrangement will see Servier absorb Symphogen’s pipeline and discovery platform.
Strategically, the deal fits within Servier’s strategy of building out its oncology capabilities in recent years and, with Symphogen having six clinical stage projects in its portfolio, significantly expands its pipeline.
Further than the six clinical-phase candidates, Symphogen also has an additional six projects that are at the pre-clinical stage – with all but one of its pipeline compounds focused on oncology or the immuno-oncology space, the exception being a potential treatment for staph infections.
Six of the targets Servier had already partnered on, with three of these in Phase I development.
Beyond that, Symphogen’s furthest advanced project is Sym004 for metastatic colorectal cancer, which has completed Phase II development – though the company had previously announced that, due to the financial requirements, Phase III trials would not proceed unless a partner was found. This may now be possible with Servier’s backing.
Servier efforts to bolster its own branded products allowed it to announce marketing authorization for the first time in the Japanese market at the end of last month within oncology.
As of its 2018-2019 financial years, oncology represented 36% of Servier’s R&D investment.