Sanofi-Aventis And U.S Biotechnology Company Alopexx Enter Into A Collaboration Agreement For A Novel Human Monoclonal Antibody Targeting Infectious Diseases
- Novel antibody targeted against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and other serious infectious diseases -
Paris, France - December 10, 2009 - Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and Alopexx Pharmaceuticals (LLC) announced today a collaboration agreement and option for a license on a first-in-class human monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of S. aureus, S.epidermidis, E. coli, Y. pestis ( the bacterium that causes plague) and other serious infections.
This new antibody is currently in preclinical development.
"The emergence of antibiotic resistant infections is and remains an unmet medical need", said Dr Marc Cluzel, Executive Vice-President R&D, sanofi-aventis. "I am very enthusiastic about this collaboration with Alopexx on such a promising product that could become, if developed to its full potential, a key driver of our company's anti-infective portfolio with a strong position in the prevention and treatment of resistant infections." "We are extremely excited about our partnership with sanofi-aventis", said Daniel Vlock, MD, CEO of Alopexx Pharmaceuticals. "Sanofi-aventis' commitment to partnering with biotech companies, such as Alopexx, to develop novel therapies for the treatment and prevention of serious infections and other diseases makes us optimistic that our antibody would, upon approval, impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide." Under this agreement, Alopexx will bring the product into Phase I clinical trials during 2010, with an option for an exclusive worldwide license for sanofi-aventis at that point in time for development and a commercialization license of the product. Alopexx will receive an upfront payment and research funding from sanofi-aventis and is eligible for development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments which could reach $375 million in total, as well as royalties on sales of products commercialized under the license and collaboration.
2 / 2 About Alopexx's novel human antibody The therapy is a human monoclonal antibody that has the potential to serve as an alternative to antibiotics in the fight against MRSA ( methicillin-resistant S.aureus ) and other infections. Unlike antibiotics, monoclonal antibodies are not expected to lead to the development of bacterial resistance to the therapy. The target of the antibody is a carbohydrate on the bacterial capsule known as PNAG. PNAG has been found to be a critical factor in the virulence and immune response to staphylococcal infections. S. aureus strains that cannot produce PNAG have a significantly reduced ability to cause infections. The antibody is directed against PNAG and works by inducing killing by the patient's own white blood cells. The antibody was initially developed by Drs. Gerald Pier and Casie Kelly-Quintos at the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in collaboration with Drs. Lisa Cavacini and Marshall Posner at the Human Monoclonal Antibody Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School.
About hospital-acquired and resistant infections It is estimated that there were approximately 2.9 million cases of hospital-acquired infections in the US in 2005. 1.2 million of those were due to Gram-positive organisms, such as staphylococcus. That number is expected to increase to 1.9 million by 2010. Over the same time period infections resistant to multiple anti-bacterials are expected to almost double from over 600,000 to close to 1.2 million.
About Alopexx Pharmaceuticals (LLC) Alopexx Pharmaceuticals (www.alopexx.com) was co-founded by Gerald Pier, PhD Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and Daniel Vlock, MD. Its aim is to develop and explore the use of novel therapies for the treatment and prevention of MRSA and other serious infections. For more information contact Daniel Vlock, MD at [email protected]
About sanofi-aventis Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
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