Innate Pharma Raises €62M IPO to Develop Antibody Drugs for Cancer

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The French company Innate Pharma has raised a Nasdaq IPO of €62.1M ($68.8M) to fund the development of antibody immunotherapies for solid tumors and blood cancer.

Innate Pharma’s lead candidate antibody monalizumab is being co-developed in phase II with AstraZeneca for the treatment of head and neck cancer and colorectal cancer. Monalizumab is a member of the checkpoint inhibitor class of drugs, which stop tumors from evading immune cells.

Innate Pharma’s IPO was lower than its target of €72M ($80M). The company plans to spend €27M to finance a phase II trial of monalizumab. Innate Pharma will also use the money to fund the clinical development of other cancer immunotherapies such as for blood cancer.

The lower-than-expected fundraise may have been due to shaky market conditions at the beginning of this month. The adverse market environment has also been a factor leading to the withdrawal of a Nasdaq IPO by the Swiss biotech ADC Therapeutics and also the underperformance of a €141M IPO by the German company BioNTech, both taking place earlier this month.

Innate Pharma has spent the last few years recovering from the phase II failure of its previous lead candidate drug, the checkpoint inhibitor lirilumab. This Nasdaq IPO suggests that the French company is regaining confidence with its current lead candidate in phase II and with backing from the big pharma company AstraZeneca.

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