Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Westchester will collaborate with a Dutch immunotherapy company in clinical trials of a treatment for cervical and head-and-neck cancers linked to a type of human papillomavirus.
The treatment will combine cemiplimab, an antibody being developed by Regeneron and its French pharmaceutical partner Sanofi that targets the programmed cell death protein 1 to treat multiple cancers, with ISA101, a synthetic peptide antigen that targets human papillomavirus type 16 (HVP16)-induced cancer and is the product of ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V. in Leiden, The Netherlands.
The companies announced that they will jointly fund and conduct clinical trials of the combination drug treatment and exchange product supply. HPV16 is found in approximately 55 percent of cervical cancers and more than 60 percent of head-and-neck cancers, they said.
Regeneron, the state’s largest biotechnology company, also agreed to provide an upfront payment and an equity investment in ISA Pharmaceuticals in exchange for an option to an exclusive, global license for ISA101. If Regeneron opts to commercialize the drug, the Dutch company could potentially receive various milestone payments and tiered royalty payments contingent on regulatory approvals, sales and additional indications.
Further financial details of the collaboration deal were not disclosed.
“Regeneron continues to expand and advance our immuno-oncology program by studying multiple combination therapies in order to fully explore the scientific possibilities in this relatively new field,” said Dr. Israel Lowy, vice president for clinical sciences and head of translational science and oncology at Regeneron headquarters outside Tarrytown. “Early clinical results with ISA101 in HPV16-positive indications have been promising, and we’re eager to investigate the impact of adding cemiplimab with the goal of further enabling the body’s immune system to attack the cancer.”
Cemiplimab is also being studied clinically by Regeneron and Sanofi as a monotherapy in multiple cancers and in various other therapeutic combinations.