Sanofi, Evotec Enter New Research Collaboration
to Discover and Develop Novel Diabetes Therapies
- Collaboration aims to address critical unmet patient need
through next generation diabetes therapies based on stem cell research -
Paris, August 7, 2015 - Sanofi announced today that it has entered strategic research collaboration with Evotec to develop beta cell-modulating diabetes treatments, which may reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections. Beta cells play a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes, a condition which currently affects 387 million patients worldwide.
"With the significant burden of diabetes worldwide, it is imperative we continue challenging ourselves to develop treatment breakthroughs for the millions of people living with this progressive and debilitating disease," said Philip Larsen, MD, PhD, Vice President, Global Head of Diabetes Research and Translational Science at Sanofi. "This collaboration will leverage Evotec's expertise in technology and Sanofi's extensive experience and leadership in diabetes. Our shared vision is to change how diabetes is treated in the future by developing novel therapeutic approaches to disease management."
The new research collaboration will focus on developing a beta cell replacement therapy based on functional human beta cells derived from human stem cells. The companies will also use human beta cells for high-throughput drug screening to identify beta cell active small molecules or biologics.
Under this agreement, Evotec will be entitled to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, which could total more than €300 million, and royalties on net sales.
"Stem cell-based drug discovery and development is on the cutting edge of therapeutic innovation," said Dr. Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec. "We are very proud to partner with Sanofi, a company with a deep history in diabetes, in a truly complementary collaboration to enhance how this disease is treated in the future."
About Type 2 Diabetes Beta Cells
In type 1 diabetes, beta cells are destroyed by the patient's own immune system. As a result, patients have to follow a life-long regimen of carefully dosed insulin injections. In type 2 diabetes (T2D), beta cells are functionally impaired. T2D is progressive, and current therapeutic options cannot prevent the deterioration of beta cell function, eventually creating a need for insulin injections, a significant burden to patients. The beta cells cannot fully mimic the normal control of blood glucose levels by normal beta cells, which may result in short- and long-term complications. There is a significant medical need for new treatments that restore beta cell mass, reduce or eliminate the need for insulin injections and prevent or reverse the decline in beta cell function in type 2 diabetes patients.
About Sanofi Diabetes
Sanofi strives to help people manage the complex challenge of diabetes by delivering innovative, integrated and personalized solutions. Driven by valuable insights that come from listening to and engaging with people living with diabetes, the Company is forming partnerships to offer diagnostics, therapies, services, and devices including blood glucose monitoring systems. Sanofi markets injectable, inhaled and oral medications for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
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Tel.: + (33) 1 53 77 45 45
Global R&D Communications
Amy Ba, Ph.D.
Tel: +1 (617) 665-4851