Sanofi Signs Pact For Artificial Intelligence in Drug Development

Sanofi has formed a strategic research collaboration and license option agreement, worth up to $272 million, for bispecific small molecules to treat metabolic diseases with Exscientia, a drug-discovery company using artificial intelligence for drug discovery and design.

Under the agreement, Exscientia will be responsible for all compound design, and Sanofi will be responsible for chemistry synthesis. Further assays, preclinical experiments, and subsequent trials for compounds progressing to the clinic will be managed by Sanofi, where Sanofi exercises the license option.

Exscientia’s technology seeks to address a problem of having few single targets for new therapies. To address this challenge, Exscientia will apply its platform to identify and validate combinations of drug targets that could work synergistically and be amenable to Exscientia’s bispecific small-molecule design strategy, under which a small molecule is designed to be compatible with two distinct drug targets.

The commercial terms for this agreement include the payment of research funding to identify those target pairs with the best combination of chemical compatibility and biological relevance plus further funding for prioritized candidate delivery opportunities. For compounds reaching agreed delivery criteria, a series of milestones covering both non-clinical and clinical may be payable by Sanofi. Any licensed products reaching the market will qualify for recurrent sales milestones. The total amount potentially payable by Sanofi to Exscientia on achieving these milestones is EUR 250 million($272 million).

Source: Exscientia

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