Israel’s Biond Biologics to get $125 million from Sanofi to develop cancer drug

Israeli cancer immunotherapy firm startup Biond Biologics said Tuesday it has entered an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Paris-based multinational pharma firm Sanofi for the development and commercialization of its flagship anti-tumor drug BND-22.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biond will get an upfront payment of $125 million in cash and could get $1 billion once it meets development, regulatory and sales milestones, as well as tiered double-digit royalty payments, the Israeli firm said in a statement.

Biond will lead the first-in-human, phase 1a study of BND-22, evaluating its safety and tolerability as a single drug and also in combination with approved cancer therapeutics. The firm will also explore potential associations between the anti-tumor activity of BND-22 and select tumor and blood-based biomarkers.

Sanofi will take on clinical development and commercialization responsibilities for the drug, Biond said.

An Investigational New Drug (IND) application for BND-22 has recently been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration, and a phase 1 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary anti-tumor activity of BND-22 in advanced cancer patients is planned to start by mid-2021, the statement said.

Biond was founded in 2016, by Tehila Ben-Moshe and Ori Shilo. The lead investors in the company are the Israel Biotech fund (“IBF”) and Harel Insurance, the statement said. The firm has raised to date some $17 million, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central.

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