France-based Sanofi has partnered with US-based MyoKardia to discover and develop targeted therapeutics to treat patients with genetic heart disease.

As part of the deal, both firms will develop treatments for heritable heart diseases called cardiomyopathies, the common forms of heart muscle disease.

The collaboration is valued around $200m in equity investments, milestone payments and research and development services through 2018, of which $45m has already been received in an upfront licencing fee and an initial equity investment.

Sanofi global R&D president Elias Zerhouni said: “This collaboration illustrates Sanofi’s research and development philosophy for Sunrise projects.

MyoKardia will carry out with research and worldwide development activities through early human efficacy studies.”

“It combines in a meaningful way the unique expertise in rare and cardiovascular diseases of our top scientists with that of the best innovators in the world, like MyoKardia’s founders and scientists, to achieve real breakthroughs in medicine.”

The deal covers three MyoKardia programmes, with two focusing on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), while the other one on dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

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MyoKardia will carry out with research and worldwide development activities through early human efficacy studies, within the collaboration.

The company will lead worldwide development and US commercial activities for the two HCM programmes, where the company has retained product rights.

Sanofi will carry out with global development and commercial activities for DCM, where it has worldwide rights. The company will also lead ex-US regulatory and commercial activities to the two HCM programmes, where it has ex-US commercialisation rights.

HCM and DCM are types of heritable heart diseases, which are induced by mutations in the genes of the proteins that are primarily responsible for the contraction of the heart muscle.

The agreement is part of Sanofi’s Sunrise initiative, which seeks to invest in early-stage opportunities that align with the company’s development and commercialisation abilities.