Aimmune to Advance Development of Newly-Licensed Asset with $200 Million Investment from Nestle
Less than a week after California-based Aimmune Therapeutics won approval for Palforzia, a treatment for peanut allergies, the company struck a licensing deal for an asthma medication that it intends to explore as a potential treatment in patients with food allergies.
This morning, Aimmune announced a licensing deal with Xencor, Inc. for the investigational humanized monoclonal antibody XmAb7195, which has been redubbed AIMab7195. Aimmune said the medication was originally developed as a potential treatment for allergic asthma and uses three distinct mechanisms of action to reduce blood serum IgE and suppress IgE-producing cells. Aimmune initially plans to develop AIMab7195 as an adjunctive treatment with select Characterized Oral Desensitized ImmunoTherapy (CODIT) programs, including the recently-approved Palforzia, to explore treatment outcomes in patients with food allergies.
Jayson Dallas, president and chief executive officer of Aimmune, said the company is excited about exploring the potential of oral immunotherapy treatments as a potential in addressing food allergies. Dallas said the use of these immunotherapies could achieve greater levels of desensitization when combined with adjunctive biologics that target immune pathways.
“In-licensing AIMab7195 demonstrates our commitment to enriching our pipeline and strengthening Aimmune’s global leadership in the evolving therapeutic landscape of food allergy treatments,” Dallas said in a statement.
Bassil Dahiyat, president and CEO of Xencor, said Aimmune will be able to advance the asset in order to “create new options for people living with food allergy.”
“AIMab7195 is designed to reduce levels of IgE, a key mediator of allergic response, and there is strong scientific rationale that this reduction would synergize with the activity of desensitization therapies,” Dahiyat said in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Aimmune will make an upfront payment to Xencor of $5 million in cash and $5 million in equity, equivalent to 156,238 newly issued shares of Aimmune common stock at $32.00/share. Xencor also is eligible to receive up to $385 million based on the achievement of certain clinical development, regulatory and commercialization milestones -- beginning with the initiation of a Phase 2IIclinical trial. The company is also eligible to receive a high single-digit to mid-teen percentage of royalties upon commercialization of AIMab7195.
In addition to the licensing of the asset, Aimmune also scored an initial $200 million equity investment from Nestlé Health Science. The new investment brings the total of Nestlé’s stake in the company to $473 million. The last investment made by Nestlé was in 2018 for $98 million. That took the total investment at the time to $273 million, which provided the company with a 19% stake in Aimmune. With the latest investment, Nestlé now has a 25.6% stake in Aimmune.
Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, said its continued collaboration with Aimmune aligns with his company’s mission to “provide innovative nutritional health solutions” to people.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to the advancement of science-based nutritional health solutions, our further investment in Aimmune is intended to help assure Palforzia’s longer-term commercial success and allow Aimmune to continue making significant development advances in the field of food allergy treatments,” Behar said in a statement.
Dallas said the latest infusion of cash will help fund the advancement of the company’s pipeline, including conducting clinical trials of the newly-licensed AIMab7195.