Regeneron inks $295M antibody discovery deal with Astellas

Regeneron's growing antibody expertise is paying off with a rich, newly renegotiated discovery deal with Japan's Astellas. The pharma company has decided to scrap its three-year-old collaboration--under which it paid Tarrytown, NY-based Regeneron $20 million a year to find promising new drug candidates--and agreed to hand over $165 million up front with a potential $130 million check due eight years from now.

Provided Astellas is happy with the first half of the deal and re-ups for the second, the discovery pact will stretch out to 2023. And Regeneron will be in line for "mid-single-digit" royalties on any products it has fed to Astellas. Regeneron (REGN), meanwhile, announced a better-than-expected quarterly loss--$25.5 million--this morning, with licensing payments from Sanofi-Aventis limiting the amount of red ink it had to report. Regeneron's revenue jumped 29 percent to about $116 million.

The developer, which has its own pipeline in play, has also been successful at striking a more ambitious discovery deal with Sanofi. The two companies decided to restructure their deal late last year, opting for a new pact that calls for four to five new clinical-stage antibody development programs each year. They now have five programs in the clinic, with a sixth NDA due on an angiogenesis drug by the end of this year. Regeneron has another discovery pact in place with AstraZeneca.

- check out the Regeneron release
- here's the story from Reuters