Sanofi and Lead Pharma Seal Autoimmune R&D Pact

24.02.2015 -

French drugmaker Sanofi and Dutch biotech Lead Pharma have entered a research collaboration and license agreement to discover, develop and commercialize small-molecule therapies directed against nuclear hormone receptors known as ROR gamma t.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will collaborate during the early phase of research and development with a goal of identifying drug candidates and beginning human trials within 3-4 years.

Lead Pharma will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive research, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Sanofi will be responsible for clinical development and have worldwide marketing and commercialization rights to any products that may be developed as a result of the collaboration. Lead Pharma is entitled to receive royalty payments on global sales from any such products. Further details of the financial terms have not been disclosed.

These drugs are aimed at treating a broad range of autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.

"Anti-ROR gamma t therapies represent a groundbreaking opportunity that we are eager and motivated to pursue through our collaboration with Lead Pharma," said Christian Antoni, vice president and head of the Immunology & Inflammation Franchise, Research & Development at the French company. "At Sanofi, we believe networked innovations - working collaboratively across science sectors - is the most effective way to bring meaningful new therapies to patients," he said.