India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has licensed biotech drug GBR 500 to French pharmaceutical major Sanofi in a deal that could reach $613m.

The drug is undergoing early-stage human trials as a treatment for Crohn’s disease, but is thought to have potential in the treatment of other inflammatory conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis.

The agreement gives Sanofi marketing rights in North America, Europe, Japan, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, as well as co-marketing rights in Russia, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

Glenmark will receive an upfront payment of $50m, while the remaining $563m is stipulated in milestone and bullet payments relating to progress in clinical trials and market success, with an earliest date for release set for 2017.

Glenmark has found relative success since investing in new drug discovery a decade ago, with GBR 500 representing its sixth licensing deal to date.