Sanofi gets opt-in rights to two Regeneron cancer drugs

Sanofi and Regeneron have restructured and extended their immune-oncology discovery and development agreement, giving the French drugmaker rights to opt-in to development and marketing of two potential cancer drugs targeting diseases including multiple myeloma.

The two companies signed the agreement in 2015, and it was due to end in mid-2020, but the revision allows for ongoing collaborative development of two clinical-stage bispecific antibodies.

They have already had success in joint development projects – the cholesterol drug Praluent (alirocumab) has been on the market for several years, and the more recently launched eczema drug Dupixent (dupilumab) is tipped to bring in blockbuster-level sales.

Regeneron will meanwhile retain all rights to other immune-oncology discovery and development projects.

Under the restructured agreement, Sanofi will pay Regeneron $462 million, representing the balance of payments due under the original agreement.

This covers Sanofi’s share of R&D costs for the last quarter of 2018, and up to $120 million in development costs for the two bispecific antibodies.

It also includes the termination fee for other drugs under the original immune-oncology agreement.

Sanofi can opt in to development of the bispecific antibodies codenamed BCMAxCD3 and MUC16xCD3 when proof of concept is achieved or when the allocated funding has been sent.

For its part Regeneron will commit up to $70 million to further develop BCMAxCD3 for multiple myeloma and up to $50 million to develop MUC16xCD3 for mucin-16 expressing cancers.

After opting in, Sanofi will lead development and marketing of BCMAxCD3 and fund all development costs, with Regeneron reimbursing up to 50% of its share of collaboration profits. Sanofi and Regeneron will share profits equally.

If Sanofi opts in to the other project, Regeneron will lead MUC16xCD3 bispecific development and marketing in the US. The companies will share development costs and profits.

An ongoing R&D agreement for development and marketing of Libtayo (cemiplimab), a PD-1 antibody, is unaffected and Regeneron retains full rights to its other immune-oncology programmes.


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