BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Innate Pharma SAS signed a license agreement with U.S.-based diagnostics company Clinical Data Inc., granting it exclusive rights for the development of a predictive pharmacogenomic test for responsiveness to a treatment by cytotoxic monoclonal antibodies such as rituximab.

The test will be based on the determination of variants of the gene coding for the Fc-gamma-IIIA receptor, for which Innata Pharma owns exclusive intellectual property rights.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the CEO of Marseille, France-based Innate Pharma, Hervé Brailly, indicated that the company did not "expect significant financial repercussions in the short term." He pointed out that, while the "individualization of immunotherapy treatments with the help of predictive markers is at the heart of Innate's development strategy, we still need to rely on the expertise of a specialist in pharmacogenomic tests for the implementation of this type of predictive test."

In that regard, Clinical Data, of Newton, Mass., a worldwide supplier of molecular and pharmacogenomics services and genetic tests, was not only a "reference player in this sector," but also an "industrial partner capable of developing and commercializing this type of test in optimal conditions, especially in the United States," Brailly added.

Studies indicated that a test based on the Fc-gamma-IIIA receptor predicted how 90 percent of patients suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma will respond to treatment with rituximab (marketed as Rituxan by Genentech Inc./Biogen-Idec Inc., and as MabThera by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd).