Paris – Sanofi-Aventis has secured access to the new drug class of microRNA therapeutics. The company has entered a R&D and marketing collaboration with US firm Regulus Therapeutics Inc., agreeing to pay all R&D and commercialisation costs over three years to develop 4 miRNA targets, including Regulus’ lead product
miR-21 against fibrosis. The agreement includes an option to extend the collaboration for two additional years. Carlsbad-based Regulus, a joint venture formed in 2007 by Alnylam Therapeutics and Isis Pharmaceuticals, could receive over US$750m (EUR598m) from the deal, including $25m(EUR19.9m) up front and a $10m (EUR8m) equity investment subject to mutual agreement on company valuation, research support and milestones. Sanofi has an option to develop and commercialise further miRNA therapeutics beyond the first four targets.