French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi has entered into a new collaboration with Warp Drive Bio, a US-based biotechnology firm using the molecules and mechanisms of nature to discover and develop transformative medicines.

The companies have extended and reshaped their existing collaboration using Warp Drive’s Small Molecule Assisted Receptor Targeting (SMART) and Genome Mining platforms to discover new oncology therapeutics and antibiotics.

As part of the deal, Warp Drive will lead the research collaboration for a period of five years, while Sanofi will receive worldwide exclusive licenses to develop and commercialise the candidates discovered during the research term.

The new deal will provide Warp Drive funding and milestones in excess of $750m.

"This is an exciting collaboration … as it could yield potentially lifesaving oncology and antibiotic therapies for patients by utilising cutting-edge technology platforms."

The companies 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.

Sanofi Global R&D president Elias Zerhouni said: "Our partnership with Warp Drive is a perfect example of open innovation, which allows Sanofi to collaborate with innovative companies and combine unique areas of expertise to advance drug development in a meaningful way.

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"This is an exciting collaboration for Sanofi as it could yield potentially lifesaving oncology and antibiotic therapies for patients by utilising cutting-edge technology platforms."

Warp Drive will retain the rights to deploy its platforms to pursue discovery and development against all other targets, both alone and in collaboration with other companies.

Initially, the companies will focus on three defined oncology programmes targeting different mutants and states of the RAS oncogenic protein.

Post investigational new drug (IND) filing, Warp Drive has the option to lead development of the therapeutic candidates up to phase II clinical studies, while Sanofi will lead development through the filing of new drug applications (NDAs).

The deal will see Sanofi lead global commercial activities on the new products and Warp Drive has the option to co-commercialise oncology therapeutics in the US market.

In addition, Sanofi will manage all ex-US commercial activities, while Warp Drive will receive commercial milestones and tiered royalties on product sales.