Eye on Pharma: Regeneron and Sanofi Terminate Antibody Discovery Agreement

New York-based Regeneron has announced that it will allow one of its key partnerships with the French drug maker Sanofi to terminate at the end of the year without an extension. The companies’ Antibody Discovery Agreement was responsible for the discovery and development of such drugs as alirocumab (Praluent), dupilumab (Dupixent), and sarilumab (Kevzara).
Kelly Davio
August 07, 2017

New York-based Regeneron has announced that it will allow one of its key partnerships with the French drug maker Sanofi to terminate at the end of the year without an extension.

The companies’ Antibody Discovery Agreement was responsible for the discovery and development of such drugs as alirocumab (Praluent), dupilumab (Dupixent), and sarilumab (Kevzara), as well as the proposed monoclonal antibodies REGN2810, REGN3500, and REGN3767.

Sanofi and Regneron will continue to co-develop REGN2810, a programmed death-1 antibody, and REGN3767, a lymphocyte activation gene-3 antibody (both for the treatment of cancer) under their immuno-oncology collaboration. That separate agreement will remain in force through at least 2020, and FieceBiotech reports that a Sanofi representative has confirmed its continued involvement with Regeneron on both ongoing and new initiatives under that agreement. The joint development and eventual prospective commercialization of REGN3500, an IL-33 antibody for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, will continue as part of their Antibody License and Collaboration Agreement.

Regeneron also reports that it has entered into clinical study agreements for RGN2810 with Inovo Pharmaceuticals and SillaJen to evaluate the proposed antibody for use in combination with their own product candidates. Regeneron indicated that it retained the right to develop products initiated under the Antibody Discovery Agreement, either alone or in conjunction with other companies, after the Sanofi agreement lapses.

Regeneron entered into its initial partnership with Sanofi in 2007, with a scheduled expiration of the Antibody Discovery Agreement in 2012. However, the companies chose to renew that partnership in 2009, with a higher level of funding dedicated to the projects covered by the agreement. Under the 2009 renewal, Sanofi was responsible for providing up to $160 million in funding annually for Regeneron’s antibody research. According to Regeneron, the $130 million in funding provided by Sanofi for the 2017 fiscal year will be exhausted by the end of the third quarter.

The termination of the Antibody Discovery Agreement comes after impressive successes for the partnership; the companies’ sarilumab gained regulatory approval in both the United States and the European Union this year, and the drug outperformed AbbVie’s blockbuster adalimumab (Humira) as monotherapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in a phase 3 study. Dupilumab, which is currently being studied in asthma, pediatric atopic dermatitis, and other indications, realized global sales of $29 million in the second quarter of 2017. Alirocumab, used for the treatment of elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, saw $46 million in global sales (compared with $24 million in the same quarter in 2016).

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