Sanofi, Evotec, and Aperion Form Immuno-Oncology Pact
Sanofi has entered a research collaboration and license agreement with Evotec and Apeiron Biologics to discover and develop small molecule-based immuno-oncology therapies to treat solid and hematological cancers by enhancing the anti-tumor activity of the human immune system.
Under the agreement, Sanofi will have sole responsibility for all development, regulatory, commercial, and manufacturing activities of the products resulting from the collaboration. Sanofi will support two years of funding for Evotec and Apeiron to conduct the research program, which will include potential early-success milestone payments. Upon continuation, as decided by Sanofi, Evotec will be entitled to receive further development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, which could total more than EUR 200 million ($221 million) and royalties on net sales.
The collaboration will focus on the identification of novel small molecules and their targets to develop therapies in immuno-oncology. These treatments are expected to complement currently available checkpoint inhibitors. The collaboration is based on the initial successful outcome of a phenotypic high throughput screen of potential compounds for development that was commissioned by Apeiron Biologics and conducted by Evotec. Under the collaboration, Sanofi has the option of screening its own compound libraries to identify new small-molecule candidates for development.