Sanofi has completed the strategic integration of its infectious disease unit, including most of the associated research portfolio, into German drug discovery company Evotec.
As per the terms of the transaction, Sanofi will make an upfront payment of €60m to Evotec, along with a financial commitment, for five years.
Evotec intends to leverage the integration to advance the development of its infectious disease research pipeline and launch new open research and development (R&D) initiatives for anti-infectives.
The company is also planning additional pharmaceutical and biotechnology alliances with companies, foundations, academia and government organisations to carry out further R&D into new drugs for treating infectious diseases.
Initially, the research will focus on antimicrobial resistance, superbug infections, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and the development of antiviral therapies with new mechanisms of action.
Sanofi, however, will retain select option rights for the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of the anti-infective products resulting from the licensed portfolio.
Sanofi global R&D president Dr Elias Zerhouni said: “Sanofi has a long and established history in the fight against infectious diseases, and we remain committed to addressing global health challenges through our development efforts and vaccines.
“Evotec is a trusted partner in drug discovery and has the ambition and capacity to become a real leader in the fight against infectious diseases.”
Evotec CEO Dr Werner Lanthaler said: “With the signing of this transaction, Evotec will have created the highest qualified translational footprint in infectious disease research globally with approximately 180 scientists.
“Together we are well-positioned to become the global drug discovery and development partner of choice in this important therapeutic category.”
Sanofi and Evotec entered exclusive talks to create an R&D platform for infectious disease therapeutics in March this year.
The proposed deal involved the transfer of Sanofi’s infectious disease research unit and licensing of more than ten of its R&D infectious disease assets. It also included the transfer of about 100 Sanofi employees.
In June, Sanofi signed a transaction agreement to integrate the infectious disease unit into Evotec, which also receives licences for the majority of Sanofi’s infectious disease research portfolio and initiatives.