Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced plans on Tuesday to restructure their existing antibody collaboration for the rheumatoid arthritis treatment Kevzara (sarilumab) and the PCSK9-inhibiting cholesterol drug Praluent (alirocumab) into a royalty-based agreement. The news comes after Sanofi unveiled a strategy update in which it said it was halting research into diabetes and cardiovascular (CV) treatments to focus on Dupixent (dupilumab), another therapy partnered with Regeneron, as well as vaccines and its pipeline, including cancer and haemophilia therapies.
Under the proposed changes, Sanofi would gain sole global rights to Kevzara, as well as sole rights to Praluent outside the US, while Regeneron would hold sole rights to the PCSK9 inhibitor in the US. The new arrangement calls for each company to be solely responsible for funding development and commercialisation expenses in their respective territories. "These changes are expected to increase efficiency and streamline operations for the products," the companies said.
In announcing its strategic overhaul earlier this week, Sanofi indicated that it was looking to "optimise the commercial model" for its diabetes, CV and rheumatoid arthritis segments, including "right-sizing" the resources behind Praluent and Kevzara.
The companies said their existing collaboration relating to Dupixent, which Sanofi estimates will eventually bring in peak sales of more than €10 billion ($11.1 billion), will not be affected by the restructuring. The proposed royalty-based agreement is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2020.
Earlier this year, Sanofi and Regeneron began offering Praluent in the US at a 60% discount from its original price of $14 600 in a bid to bolster sales. Revenues for Praluent were down over 10% in the third quarter at €61 million ($68 million), while Dupixent sales reached €570 million ($632 million), a gain of 153% year-over-year.
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