Antibody agreements expire

While new collaborations spring up regularly among developers of antibody drugs, existing partnerships also expire. Two recent examples are multi-year deals between Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and between MorphoSys AG and Novartis.

On 3 August, Regeneron announced that a 2007 agreement with Sanofi, which was extended by seven years in 2010, would expire on 31 December of this year. The announcement was contained in the company’s financial report for the second quarter.

The agreement with Sanofi has yielded three marketed products, Praluent (alirocumab) for hypercholesterolaemia; Dupixent (dupilumab) for atopic dermatitis and Kevzara (sarilumab) for rheumatoid arthritis.

Two of these drugs, Dupixent and Kevzara, were highlighted in Sanofi’s second-quarter results' statement as examples of its expanding portfolio.

The three marketed drugs, plus an early stage anti-inflammatory compound REGN3500, will continue to be developed and commercialised as set out in the original agreement. Two early stage checkpoint antibodies, one targeting PD-1 and the other LAG-3, will also continue to be developed, Regeneron said.

However from 2018, the US company will have the right to develop or continue to develop other product candidates discovered under the agreement independently or with other partners. These products were not identified.

The other collaboration deal set to expire is a multi-year antibody discovery agreement between MorphoSys and Novartis. This deal was initialed in 2004, and in 2007 it was extended for 10 years. It is due to expire in November of this year. It has resulted in the development of 14 candidate antibody drugs all of which were in clinical development as of 30 June.

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