Sanofi and Kiadis Pharma entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Sanofi will offer to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Kiadis at a price per Kiadis share of €5.45 in cash (272% premium to the closing price on 30 October 2020), representing an aggregate adjusted equity value of approximately €308 million, or about $359 million. The Kiadis Management Board and Supervisory Board unanimously approved the intended transaction and recommended the Offer to holders of Kiadis’ Shares.
The Kiadis technology platform is based on allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf” natural killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cell and part of the innate immune system. NK cells play a major role in the host-rejection of tumors and virally infected cells. As a result, the Kiadis technology has a broad application across various cancers and for infectious diseases. Kiadis’ NK cell-based medicines will be developed alone and in combination with Sanofi’s existing platforms.
Kiadis’ pipeline of NK-cell therapies has the potential to deliver adjunctive therapy for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or who have acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
- K-NK002 is in a Phase 2 study evaluating NK-cells to prevent post-transplant relapse in patients with AML and myelodysplastic syndromes. The trial will be conducted in collaboration with premier U.S. transplant centers.
- K-NK003 is in 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 t 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 the use of K-NK cells to treat COVID-19 patients with government grant funding.
- In July 2020, Sanofi licensed Kiadis’ pre-clinical K-NK004 program for multiple myeloma.
John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research and Development of Sanofi, commented, “We believe 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.”