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Jun 08, 2021


Onward Therapeutics Signs an Exclusive Collaboration and Worldwide Option and License Agreement with Institut du Cancer de Montpellier

Onward Therapeutics (Onward) and Institut du Cancer de Montpellier (ICM) announced today the execution of an exclusive collaboration and worldwide option and license agreement based on a research program in onco-metabolism being conducted by ICM, Montpellier, France. Onward will fund this collaboration and will be able to exercise its option for multiple development candidates. ICM is eligible to receive option fees, milestones, and royalty payments. The detailed financial terms are undisclosed.

Onco-metabolism is recognized as a major axis for novel potential therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment. ICM’s team has already evaluated several prototypes of inhibitors in various diseases, including proof-of-principle in cancer.

“We are honored to work with ICM, a renowned French not-for-profit private health institute, in this research program which encompasses the discovery of both small molecules and biologics targeting this metabolic pathway. Based on our business model, this deal strengthens our development pipeline including a bispecific antibody (OT-A201) and a NK cell therapy platform (NK-001),” said Dr. C. Grace Yeh, Chairman and CEO of Onward. “This collaboration agreement with ICM clearly illustrates our commitment to identify innovative approaches which can truly lead to breakthrough medicines for the treatment of cancer,” commented Dr. Alain Herrera, President of Onward Therapeutics France SAS.

“We are more than happy to have the privilege that our world-class translational project, co-managed with our strategic partners Inserm and Université de Montpellier in the Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier (IRCM), is in the scope of interest to our partner Onward Therapeutics,” said Prof. Marc Ychou, Directeur Général of ICM.

Onward was represented by Jonathan Burnham at HBC Avocats. ICM was represented by MCE Carrel, Alexandra Carrel and Camille Lefert.

About Onward Therapeutics

Onward Therapeutics SA is a development stage oncology company, focusing on the identification of innovative technologies and the development of truly breakthrough medicines for the treatment of cancer. The company, led by an experienced team in translational science and drug development, acquires licenses for potential development candidates and invests in partners with transformative technology platforms. Onward recently licensed a preclinical stage, bispecific antibody (OT-A201) targeting two immune checkpoints and invested in the Series A financing round in Biomunex Pharmaceuticals SAS, Paris, France, and made a strategic equity investment into EMERCell SAS, Montpellier, France, a company developing a preclinical stage, NK cell technology (NK-001).

The company is based at Biopôle (a life sciences campus in Epalinges), near Lausanne, Switzerland, it has an affiliate in Paris, France, and also operates from Taipei, Taiwan. 

About Institut du Cancer Montpellier (ICM)

Created in 1923 by a French authorities’ ordinance, the ICM is one of the 18 French Comprehensive Cancer Centres, all non-for-profit private establishments entirely committed to fighting cancer. Directed by Prof. Marc Ychou, the ICM is a member of the Unicancer group gathering all cancer centres in France. The ICM missions focus on a personalized and innovative global patient management (medical, psychological and social) from cancer detection to post-treatment follow-up. Over the years, the ICM rose at the forefront of the top-performing Comprehensive Cancer Centres.

Research is a major founding mission of the Institute. A better understanding of the causes and mechanisms of cancer development will contribute improving disease prevention and screening, overall cancer management and patients' care and quality of life. Indeed, the ICM develops a research focused on the patient, spanning from fundamental biology to clinical applications. Research at ICM is organized in six areas: prevention, fundamental , translational, clinical and methodological research, and human and social sciences. IRCM (Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier), co- managed with Inserm and Université de Montpellier, is a major research asset on the ICM campus.

Over 200 researchers are working side-by-side, and with the medical teams, to progress in the fight against cancer. ICM obtained the SIRIC label (Integrated Cancer Research Center) in 2017, for the second time, from the National Cancer Institute (INCa).

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