The Company was founded in September 1999 by six immunologists, pioneers in the field of innate immunity.

In the 1990s, a number of scientific breakthroughs made it possible to describe the activation mechanisms of innate immunity cell populations at the molecular level.

These notably include:

  • The discovery of the natural cytotoxicity receptors (NK activating receptors) by Alessandro and Lorenzo Moretta’s group at the University of Genoa, Italy. Alessandro Moretta is one of the Company’s founders.
  • Understanding the inhibition mechanisms of NK cell activation by the above teams as well as Eric Vivier’s laboratory from the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (« CIML »), thus giving a molecular basis for the “missing self” hypothesis formulated by Klas Karre. Eric Vivier is also one of Innate Pharma founders.
  • The discovery by Marc Bonneville and Jean-Jacques Fournié of a new class of small synthetic molecules that are Gamma 9 Delta 2 T lymphocyte agonists (“γ9δ2 T”). Marc Bonneville and Jean-Jacques Fournié are two of the Company’s founders.
  • The discovery of the Toll-like receptor family (TLR) by Jules Hoffman (CNRS Strasbourg), Bruce Beutler (SCRIPPS United States) and Ruslan Medzhitov and Charles Janeway (Yale University, United States).

Recognizing the importance of innate immunity cells, notably in cancer immunosurveillance and in regulating immune responses, the Company was founded in 1999 by six immunologists. It has always focused on developing drug candidates modulating the activity of these cells. See founders.


The key dates in Innate Pharma’s history are summarized below:


First Innate asset progressing to Phase 3 - monalizumab partnered with AstraZeneca


Listing on the Nasdaq


Multi-term agreement with AstraZeneca including the acquisition of US and EU rights to commercialize LUMOXITI

Clinical trial collaboration with AstraZeneca on IPH5401/avdoralimab

Eric Vivier appointed Chief Scientific Officer


Acquisition of anti-C5aR (IPH5401) from Novo Nordisk A/S


Key leadership and corporate governance changes: Mondher Mahjoubi appointed Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board ; Hervé Brailly, co-founder of the Company appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board

New CD73 checkpoint inhibitor program (IPH53)

Research collaboration and licensing agreement on NK cell engagers with Sanofi

In-licensing of a first-in-class anti-CD39 checkpoint inhibitor program from Orega Biotech (IPH52)


Co-development and commercialization agreement with AstraZeneca on monalizumab

Start of Phase 1 trial for lacutamab (IPH4102)


Capital increase of 50 million euros reserved to specialist institutional investors

Acquisition of anti-NKG2A (monalizumab) from Novo Nordisk A/S

First Phase 2 trial of IPH2201 (monalizumab), opened at the Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center in Berlin, Germany


Capital increase of 20.3 million euros reserved to US-based specialist investors


Collaboration and licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb on lirilumab

Initiation of Phase 1 clinical trials with IPH2201 (monalizumab) by Novo Nordisk A/S


Enlarging of the collaboration and licensing agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S

Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) on the NYSE-Euronext Paris


First collaboration and licensing deal with Novo Nordisk A/S for the development of an anti-KIR antibody program, potentiating NK cells activation against tumors


Company inception