After 4 years, it’s a no from Sanofi as it punts MyoKardia drug program deal

The French Big Pharma first penned the deal back in 2014. (Sanofi)

French Big Pharma Sanofi is walking away from a heart drug disease pact with MyoKardia ahead of data readouts coming later this year.

In typical biotech PR spin, MyoKardia worked the news as it “regaining the rights back” to these programs, but in reality, Sanofi wanted out of the pact that it initially signed with the California-based biotech back in 2014.

The deal, which included a $230 million funding boost from Sanofi, centered on up to three programs in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Over this time, Sanofi pushed on with work on mavacamten from preclinical development into a late-stage pivotal study for the treatment of HCM, and MYK-491 from discovery to a phase 2 proof-of-concept study in patients with DCM.

But now, Sanofi has decided not to review the research pact, which ended on New Year’s Eve and will hand back all rights to MyoKardia, a former Fierce 15 winner.

There was no detailed reason given as to why, with the biotech simply saying: “During the period leading up to the end of the research term, it was important for MyoKardia to maintain 100 percent of the U.S. commercial rights for mavacamten in HCM as well as additional rights in expanded indications.

“Sanofi subsequently provided MyoKardia with notification of its decision to conclude the collaboration in conjunction with the end of the research term.”

Back in March, mavacamten hit its primary and secondary endpoints in a phase 2 trial in patients with symptomatic, obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (oHCM). In the past two years, Sanofi has taken an about-turn in its research policies, focusing now more on oncology, where it had looked to exit just a few short years before.

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Its CEO Tassos Gianakakos added, “We are grateful for Sanofi’s support over the past four years in what was a highly productive relationship. Since entering into the collaboration, MyoKardia has become a leading research and development organization with a robust pipeline of targeted cardiovascular therapeutics.  

“Regaining worldwide rights enables us to capture the full value of the data being generated in the next 12-24 months as we prepare for the potential registration of mavacamten in obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and obtain proof-of-concept for MYK-491 in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Importantly, consolidated control over our entire portfolio allows us to make decisions about how we advance each of our therapeutic candidates in alignment with our precision medicine approach.”

The company says it remains on track for key data readouts over the next few years, including data from the phase 2 MAVERICK study in non-obstructive HCM in the second half of this year, as well as phase 2a proof-of-concept data for MYK-491 in DCM before the end of the year.

The company’s shares were down around 6% on the news, with a market cap of around $1.8 billion.