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Innate Pharma Shares Rise After AstraZeneca Presents Positive Data From NSCLC Trial to European Conference

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Innate Pharma S.A. shares traded 38% higher after the company reported its development partner AstraZeneca Plc. reported positive interim results from its Phase 2 COAST Study to the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress. When taken together with durvalumab, monalizumab was shown to improve progression-free survival and objective response rates in patients with unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer.

Global, clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech company Innate Pharma SA (IPHA), which is engaged is developing therapeutic antibodies designed to harness the body's own immune system in order to fight cancer, infectious, and inflammatory diseases, today announced that "AstraZeneca Plc (AZN:NYSE; AZN:LON) presented results from the randomized COAST Phase 2 trial during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 on September 17, 2021."

Innate Pharma mentioned that interim data from the Phase 2 COAST Study demonstrated that when taken in combinations with durvalumab, monalizumab "improved progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) compared to durvalumab alone in patients with unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had not progressed after concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT)."

The company pointed out that monalizumab is its leading partnered asset, which it described as "a potentially first-in-class immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting NKG2A receptors expressed on tumor infiltrating cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells." The firm added that "monalizumab may reestablish a broad anti-tumor response mediated by NK and T cells and may enhance the cytotoxic potential of other therapeutic antibodies."

According to the report, AstraZeneca gained full oncology rights for monalizumab in 2018 via a previous collaboration and commercialization agreement. Ongoing development activities for monalizumab are centered around the evaluation of monalizumab in combination with other compounds and strategies for use in targeting a range of malignancies.

Innate Pharma's CEO Mondher Mahjoubi commented, "We're pleased to see the monalizumab COAST results, particularly the improved clinical outcomes for patients with unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer…Monalizumab is one of the first checkpoint inhibitors targeting a NK cell receptor and today's results further support the role it can play in treating certain cancers by blocking the inhibitory receptor, NKG2A."

The report highlighted that based up the results registered in the Phase 2 COAST study, AstraZeneca has approached and informed Innate that it intends to initiate a registrational study of monalizumab in combination with durvalumab in patients with unresectable, Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The company indicated that in 2020, approximately 2.2 million people were diagnosed with some form of lung cancer. The firm noted that lung cancer is often grouped into two general classes, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Innate Pharma advised that NSCLC typically accounts for 80 to 85% of the total cases with one-quarter of those being classified as Stage Level III.

Stage III NSCLC is defined as locally advanced which is then rated further as either level IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC depending upon the extent of the cancer spread within the lungs. Most Stage III NSCLC patients are diagnosed with unresectable tumors and are treated with curative intent, unlike in Stage IV patients where cancer has spread and metastasized greatly.

AstraZeneca's Phase 2 COAST Trial is a multi-arm, randomized study that is currently being conducted in 189 patients with locally advanced, unresectable Stage III NSCLC who had not progressed after concurrent CRT. The global study is being carried out in 82 locations in 9 different countries in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The trial was established to determine the efficacy of durvalumab alone or in combination with either monalizumab or oleclumab, an anti-CD73 monoclonal antibody. The trial's key pre-established primary endpoint is ORR as a measure of anti-tumor activity and other secondary endpoints to determine overall safety, response duration, and overall and progression free survival.

Innate Pharma S.A. is a global, clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech company headquartered in Marseille, France. The firm concentrates its efforts on improving treatments and outcomes for patients by creating and developing therapeutic antibodies that are designed to harness the immune system to target and fight cancer. The company claimed that it is a pioneer in the use of Natural Killer cell biology and has applied its antibody engineering expertise to the tumor microenvironment and tumor-antigens.

Innate Pharma S.A. began Friday with a market cap of around $455.2 million with approximately 79.2 million shares outstanding. IPHA U.S. ADR shares opened more than 30% higher Friday at $7.60 (+1.85, +32.1%) over Thursday's $5.75 closing price and reached a new 52-week high price Friday morning of $11.95. The stock traded Friday between $7.50 to $11.95 per share and closed at $8.10 (+$2.35, +40.87%).


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