Sanofi Signs Potential $750 Million-Plus Pact with Warp Drive Bio
Sanofi and Warp Drive Bio, a privately held biotechnology company using the molecules and mechanisms of nature to discover and develop transformative medicines, have extended and reshaped their existing collaboration utilizing Warp Drive’s proprietary SMART (Small Molecule Assisted Receptor Targeting) and Genome Mining platforms to discover oncology therapeutics and antibiotics.
Sanofi, who has been a major investor and strategic partner since Warp Drive’s inception in 2012, and Warp Drive have entered into a research collaboration and exclusive license focused on the development of drugs targeting important human oncogenes including RAS, which has one of the highest mutation rates in cancer, and new antibiotics targeting Gram-negative bacteria. Warp Drive Bio retains the rights to deploy its platforms to pursue discovery and development against all other targets, both alone and in collaboration with other companies.
The collaboration is an outgrowth of Sanofi’s Sunrise initiative, a strategic partnership model that seeks to invest in early-stage opportunities that align with Sanofi’s expert development and commercialization abilities.
Under the terms of the agreement, Warp Drive will lead the research collaboration for a period of five years, and Sanofi will receive worldwide exclusive licenses to develop and commercialize the candidates discovered during the research term. Warp Drive is eligible to receive from Sanofi cumulative payments in excess of $750 million across four successful collaboration programs, including an equity investment by Sanofi, research, clinical, and regulatory milestones, and research and development services.
The companies will initially focus on three defined oncology programs targeting different mutants and states of the RAS oncogenic protein. Warp Drive has the option to lead development of the therapeutic candidates from post investigational new drug filing up to Phase II clinical studies, with Sanofi leading development through the filing of new drug applications. Sanofi will lead global commercial activities on product(s) resulting from the collaboration,and Warp Drive has the option to co-commercialize oncology therapeutics in the US market. Sanofi will manage all ex-US commercial activities, and Warp Drive will receive commercial milestones and tiered royalties on product sales.
The antibiotic collaboration will focus on the discovery and development of novel Gram-negative therapeutics,and Sanofi will lead all development activities. Sanofi will be responsible for global commercialization of the antibiotic products and will pay Warp Drive research, clinical, and regulatory milestones, plus tiered royalties and commercial milestones based on global sales.