Pieris has signed a collaboration and licence agreement with Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi Pasteur, which will see it apply its proprietary anticalin technology to discover novel drugs.

Anticalins are a novel generation of targeted therapeutics, which have been shown to overcome some of the constraints of monoclonal antibodies, thereby allowing novel therapeutic approaches.

The collaboration will initially involve two targets, nominated by Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi-Pasteur, and includes the option for four more.

Under the agreement, Pieris will receive €3.5m as an upfront payment for the first two targets, plus committed research funding and payments for the achievement of research, preclinical, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Completion of each product resulting from the collaboration could drive the deal up to €26.5m in development milestones for the first therapeutic application and €18m in commercial milestones.

Ppayments will also include tiered royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi Pasteur will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights for all such products.