Sanofi, Hanmi enter diabetes drug development deal potentially worth up to 3.9 billion euros

Sanofi gained global rights to Hanmi Pharmaceutical's experimental GLP-1-RA agonist efpeglenatide under a deal potentially worth up to 3.9 billion euros ($4.2 billion), the companies announced Thursday. As part of the agreement, Sanofi will make an upfront payment of 400 million euros ($434 million) to Hanmi, with the latter eligible to receive up to 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) in development, registration and sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on net sales. The deal also includes a weekly insulin and a fixed-dosed weekly GLP-1-RA/insulin drug combination.

Under the agreed terms, Sanofi will obtain exclusive global rights to develop and commercialise the three treatments, known as the "Quantum Project," which feature Hamni's proprietary LAPSCOVERY technology designed to prolong the duration of efficacy of biologics. The Korea-based drugmaker will retain an option to co-commercialise the drugs in China and Korea.

"The agreement to develop these three investigational diabetes medicines confirms Sanofi's long-term commitment to people with this disease," said Sanofi executive vice president Pascale Witz, adding "we now have the opportunity to expand our existing portfolio by including medicines that are administered weekly as well as daily, which could extend our reach in basal insulin and expand our GLP-1-RA and GLP-RA/insulin combination prospects."

Bloomberg Intelligence analysts forecast that global diabetes sales are expected to grow at 9 percent compounded annual rate through 2018 to $55 billion. Meanwhile, Sanofi warned last month that its diabetes revenue is expected to decline at an average annualised rate of between 4 percent and 8 percent through 2018.

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