By Sonia Amaral Rohter
Sanofi SA (SAN.FR) on Thursday said that it has signed a license agreement with Principia Biopharma Inc. to develop an experimental oral treatment for multiple sclerosis, or MS, as part of its efforts to expand its MS franchise.
Under the terms of the deal, Sanofi will be granted an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialize the drug, which is currently under clinical development. Sanofi will make an upfront payment of $40 million to Principia, and Principia will receive future milestone payments of up to $765 million as well as royalties on product sales.
According to the company, the drug candidate, referred to as PRN2246, shows promise in treating MS, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system that affects over 2.5 million people worldwide. Principia has recently initiated a phase 1 trial of PRN2246 in healthy volunteers, according to the release.
Sanofi already has two MS medicines on the market, Aubagio and Lemtrada, as well as an in-house research and development program to address MS and other neurological diseases.
"Our agreement with Principia is an example of Sanofi's strategic commitment to build our drug discovery and development pipeline in MS and neurological diseases," says Rita Balice-Gordon, global head of the company's MS/neuroscience therapeutic research area. "Complementing our own internal R&D expertise, external relationships like this may accelerate delivery of new treatments to patients living with these serious diseases."
The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Write to Sonia Amaral Rohter at [email protected]