BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Innate Pharma SAS filed a filed a "document de base," or preliminary prospectus, with the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) to launch an initial public offering on the Eurolist market of the Euronext stock exchange in Paris.

The Marseille, France-based company said the launch would depend on market conditions, saying the "current unfavorable equity market conditions" means the company will "not proceed immediately with its initial public offering, and at least not before September 2006."

In that regard, Innate's chief financial officer, Stéphane Boissel, pointed out, "Considering our sold balance sheet [€35 million in cash as of April 30], as well as our promising short and medium-term perspectives, our options are open." He added that the company would "carefully observe how market conditions evolve" in the coming months.

Innate Pharma is developing new classes of drug candidates targeting the innate immune system, focusing primarily on cancer, and its lead candidate, IPH 1101, is in Phase II trials for metastatic renal carcinoma (mRCC), the indication for which it was granted orphan drug status by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency in 2004. The drug earlier completed a successful Phase I trial in mRCC, as well as one in solid tumors, and a third Phase I is under way in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The company also is working with the pharmacological manipulation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), and the first drug candidate to emerge from that platform, IPH 31XX, is expected to enter clinical trials in 2008. It is being developed as a targeted immunotherapy for several TLR3-positive cancers, especially breast cancer. Innate signed in June an agreement with Schering-Plough Corp., of Kenilworth, N.J., giving it rights to certain of the U.S. company's TLR technologies and intellectual property rights.