Sanofi Aventis signs miRNA alliance with Regulus Therapeutics
Strasbourg/Carlsbad – French pharma giant Sanofi-Aventis has secured access to the new drug class of microRNA therapeutics. The company entered a R&D and markting collaboration with Regulus Therapeutics and will pay all R&D and commercialisation costs over three years necessary to develop 4 miRNA targets, including miRNA-21 against fibrosis with an option to extend the collaboration by 2 additional years. Additionally, Regulus will get a US$ 25 million upfront payment, a US$10 million future equity investment subject to mutual agreement on company valuation. Sanofi-Aventis also receives an option for a broader technology alliance worth US$50 million that provides Regulus certain rights to participate in development and commercialisation of resulting products. The joint-venture formed in 2007 by Alnylam Therapeutics and Isis Pharmaceuticals will receive preclinical milestones, development and sales milestones for collaboration targets as well as royalties on microRNA therapeutic products commercialised by Sanofi-Aventis. The alliance is valued at potentially US$750 million in consideration of upfront payments, equity investment, research funding, and potential preclinical, clinical and commercial milestone payments for multiple products if all products are successfully commercialised. Regulus will pay approximately US$4 million of the initial funding to its licensors, the majority of which will be to Isis and Alnylam.