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In this note, we discuss the scientific advancements in the field of innate immunity as well as the potential of immunotherapeutics in the area of cancer and anti-inflammatory diseases. We also cover highlights from the roundtable held by Innate Pharma (Euronext: IPH) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), which included experts in the field of immunology, including 2011 Nobel Prize winners in medicine, Dr. Jules Hoffmann and Dr. Bruce Beutler.
Innate Pharma – The Leading Company in the Innate Immunology Space. Big pharma is substantially investing in developing the next immunotherapeutic drugs that target immunity checkpoints. Companies are claiming these checkpoints and related targets as they develop new intellectual property. The adaptive immunity space, in particular, is now crowded by many large companies like Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN), Astellas (Tokyo: 4503), AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Roche (SIX: RO) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY). On the other hand, the checkpoints and targets of the innate immune system have received less attention as their discovery is more recent, but those checkpoints are at least as important, as demonstrated by the Nobel Prize recognition. Innate Pharma, was one of the first movers in that field and now has the dominant intellectual property in this space. It is our belief, which is supported by Innate’s licensing activities, that any large pharma company wishing to play in the innate immunity space will most likely need to partner or license Innate Pharma’s dominant intellectual property and/or programs.