Sanofi-aventis and US
Biopharmaceutical Company Ascenta
Sign License Agreement in Oncology
- Small molecules could restore Tumor Cell Apoptosis
by reactivating tumor suppressor functions of the p53 gene -
Paris, France – June 4, 2010 – Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and Ascenta Therapeutics, a US
Biopharmaceutical Company in Malvern, Pennsylvania, announced today the signature of an exclusive global
collaboration and licensing agreement on a number of compounds that could restore tumor cell apoptosis. These
compounds inhibit the p53-HDM2 (Human Double Minute 2) protein-protein interaction, leading potentially to
reactivation of p53 tumour suppressor functions and therefore enhancing current cancer treatments.
Under this agreement, sanofi-aventis will receive an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and
commercialize all compounds issued from this program. Two compounds, MI-773 and MI-519-64, are currently
expected to enter preclinical development in 2010.
Ascenta has in-licensed those compounds from the University of Michigan. Both sanofi-aventis and Ascenta will
provide funding for the ongoing research of p53-HDM2 inhibitors at the University of Michigan and Ascenta may
participate in ongoing research activities and potential future clinical development.
“This new partnership continues to illustrate sanofi-aventis’ commitment to develop innovative targeted therapies in
Oncology”, declared Debasish Roychowdhury, M.D., Senior Vice President, Global Oncology, sanofi-aventis. “ The
inhibition of protein-protein interaction is always a challenge in discovery, and the finding of potent and selective
compounds could offer an attractive new therapeutic approach for cancer patients. This approach is perfectly in line
with the company’s strategy to find new drugs focused on patient specific needs ”.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ascenta will receive an upfront payment, as well as development, regulatory and
commercial milestone payments. All