Sanofi has entered exclusive talks with Evotec to create an R&D platform for infectious disease treatments.
Under the deal, Sanofi is set to licence more than ten infectious disease R&D assets to Evotec and will transfer its infectious disease research unit.
Sanofi will also transfer more than 100 employees to Evoctec.
In turn, Evotec will integrate its expertise on drug discovery and development with the new assets and personnel to boost anti-infective development through open collaborations with other companies, foundations, academia and government organisations.
Sanofi’s 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.
“This new French-based open innovation centre will benefit from the high-quality science ecosystem.”
Sanofi will make an upfront payment of €60m to Evotec, as well as additional long-term funding to support advancement of the drug candidates.
Sanofi will retain select option rights for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of the products and will continue its vaccines R&D and global health programmes for infectious diseases.
Evotec CEO Dr Werner Lanthaler said: “Finding a way to motivate more public funding and academic initiatives for the progress of novel anti-infectives on Evotec’ platform will be a key success factor for this initiative.”
The companies intend to focus on the discovery of new mode-of-action antimicrobials.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year, subject to the finalisation of definitive agreements and the completion of the appropriate social process.