Sanofi Enters Research Pact with Hong Kong’s Insilico

15.11.2022 - French pharma Sanofi has entered a multi-year, multi-target research collaboration worth up to $1.2 billion with Hong Kong biotech Insilico Medicine.

The collaboration will leverage Insilico Medicine’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform Pharma.AI to advance drug development candidates for up to six new targets.

“We look forward to working with Insilico Medicine, a demonstrated leader in AI-powered drug discovery,” said Sanofi’s head of China research Changchun Xiao. “This collaboration will leverage our complementary capabilities, as well as the co-location of our scientific teams, to boost the drug discovery efforts of the Sanofi Institute for Biomedical Research, Sanofi’s R&D center in China.”

The terms of the agreement include aggregate upfront and target nomination fees of up to $21.5 million along with additional R&D and sales milestones, plus tier-based mid-single to low double-digit royalties.

Insilico said it already provides AI solutions to top pharma and biotech companies for streamlining R&D efforts. The company said its automated, experimentally certified AI platform enables the rapid discovery and development of novel molecules, ushering in new possibilities for creating and discovering therapeutic programs in the areas of cancer, fibrosis, anti-infectives, immunology and senescence.

In September, Insilico signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment (MISA) to support the Kingdom’s development of a “robust AI-driven biotech industry.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Insilico will share its expertise and PharmaAI drug discovery platform with local biotech companies to support and accelerate their drug R&D efforts. The MoU also seeks to spur the development of new biotech companies through the partnership.

The partners added that there will be further opportunities to collaborate in other areas where Insilico’s AI platform has shown promise, including the support and initiation of projects related to healthy longevity and support for green chemistry initiatives, including the development of sustainable chemicals and crop protection solutions.

Over the past year, MISA has signed MoUs with a number of pharmaceutical and technology companies to grow its biotech sector, including Novartis, Janssen, AstraZeneca, GSK and Roche.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist