French pharmaceutical group Sanofi announced on Thursday that it will partner with Chinese biotech company Innovent Biologics to develop anti-cancer drugs for the Chinese market. Sanofi will invest 300 million euros in the partnership.
Innovent Bio, which was founded in 2011 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, “has a huge commercial footprint in China,” Sanofi said in its press release.
According to AFP, the licensing agreement between the two companies, Sanofi and Innovent, involves Sanofi’s two lead cancer drugs, SAR408701 and SAR444245, currently in clinical trials, and Innovent. Development and commercialization in combination with a monoclonal antibody (sintilimab) co-developed with Eli Lilly.
Sanofi’s SAR408701 is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the treatment of a specific lung cancer, and under the terms of the agreement, Innovent will be responsible for its development and commercialization in China.
Sanofi will be eligible to receive payments of potentially up to 80 million euros from Innovent, as well as royalties when the drug is approved for sale in China.
Sanofi’s cancer drug SAR444245 is in Phase II clinical trials for a variety of conditions, including skin and digestive tract cancers. Innovent will be eligible to receive a payment from Sanofi that could be as high as 60 million euros.
In addition, Sanofi will inject 300 million euros of capital into Innovent by subscribing for new shares.