Sanofi and Kiadis have entered into an agreement where Sanofi will make a public offer (subject to satisfaction of certain customary conditions) to fully acquire Kiadis in a deal worth €308m ($358m).
While Kiadis' portfolio is focused on cancer therapies, it has also commenced a program evaluating the suitability of K-NK cells against SARS-CoV-2 in the hope it could be developed as a post-exposure, pre-emptive therapy for high risk patients.
Enhancing Sanofi's emerging immuno-oncology pipeline
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Amsterdam, Kiadis' proprietary platform is based on allogeneic or ‘off-the-shelf' NK cells from a healthy donor. NK cells seek and identify malignant cancer cells and have broad application across various tumor types. The platform has the potential to make products rapidly and economically available for a broad patient population across a wide range of indications, according to the company.
Sanofi sees the potential to develop Kiadis’ NK cell-based medicines alone and in combination with its existing platforms.
John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research & Development, Sanofi, said: “We believe the Kiadis ‘off the shelf’ K-NK cell technology platform will have broad application against liquid and solid tumors, and create synergies with Sanofi’s emerging immuno-oncology pipeline, providing opportunities for us to pursue potential best-in-disease approaches.”
In 2019, Kiadis discontinued development of its then lead T-cell candidate, ATIR101, which had reached phase 3 trials. It instead committed to focus on the NK-cell therapy platform and product candidates, technology acquired from CytoSen Therapeutics earlier that year.
The company was consequently rebooted in early 2020 as an entirely new company focused solely on the NK-cell platform.
In July 2020, Sanofi licensed Kiadis’ pre-clinical K-NK004 program for multiple myeloma.
Kiadis' pipelines of NK cell therapies includes:
K-NK002 is in a Phase 2 clinical study evaluating NK cells to prevent post-transplant relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes. The Phase 2 trial will be conducted in collaboration with US transplant centers.
K-NK003 is a Phase 1 study evaluating NK cells for patients with relapsed or refractory AML.
KNK-ID-101 is a program evaluating the properties of K-NK cells and their suitability to fight SARS-CoV-2 and the option to develop K-NK cells as a post-exposure pre-emptive therapy for COVID-19 in high risk patients. Kiadis plans to initiate a phase 1/2a clinical trial evaluating use of K-NK cells to treat COVID-19 patients with government grant funding.