Regulus and Sanofi-Aventis have entered into a global strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialise microRNA therapeutics.

They will initially focus on fibrosis, using advances in the field that have shown that modulating microRNAs can effectively regulate disease pathways and produce therapeutically beneficial effects.

The alliance, the largest microRNA partnership to date, is valued at more than $750m, and includes a $25m upfront fee, a $10m future equity investment (subject to valuation) and annual research support for three years with an extension option.

Regulus and Sanofi-Aventis will collaborate on up to four microRNA targets, including Regulus’s lead fibrosis programme, targeting microRNA-21.

Sanofi-Aventis will also hold an option for a broader technology alliance that provides Regulus certain rights to participate in development and commercialisation of resulting products.