IGM Biosciences has announced that the focus of its exclusive worldwide collaboration agreement with Sanofi will now shift to developing immunoglobin M (IgM) agonist antibodies solely for immunology and inflammation indications.

Under the terms of the latest collaboration agreement, IGM will be responsible for leading the research and development of the three immunology and inflammation targets. The Mountain View, California-based biotech will be responsible for the costs of running a Phase I clinical study for up to two constructs directed to each target, after which Sanofi will take over development and commercialisation along with all the related costs of those activities.

The terms of the original collaboration agreement, signed in March 2022, saw the two companies utilising IGM’s proprietary IgM technology platform to discover, develop, and commercialise IgM agonists against three targets in oncology and three targets in immunology and inflammation.

Pending the achievement of aggregate development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, IGM is eligible to gain up to $1.06bn for each target in addition to “tiered high single-digit to low-teen” royalties on global sales of the candidates.  

Following the latest shift in focus towards inflammation and immunology, IGM will retain the global rights for its in-house technology associated with the oncology targets that were identified under the partnership. “As we assess next steps with respect to these oncology targets, our top internal priorities remain our clinical-stage oncology and autoimmune programs,” said IGM CEO Fred Schwarzer in the 17 April press release.

In December 2023, IGM fell amongst the wave of pharma companies announcing layoffs, which saw the company jettisoning 22% of its workforce and the discontinuation of operations for all haematologic oncology and targeted cytokine product development. However, the deal with Sanofi remained untouched by the subsequent pipeline shifts.

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