Sanofi ends 2 phase 1 cancer assets weeks after axing Sangamo deal

Sanofi is culling two early-stage monoclonal antibodies just weeks after tearing up a Sangamo cell therapy deal. The phase 1 assets were being studied in various cancers.

The French Big Pharma revealed the axed programs in its full-year 2021 results Friday. Sanofi said it will no longer work on SAR439459 in advanced solid tumors nor continue with SAR442085 in multiple myeloma.

The two candidates are part of Sanofi’s drive toward its “next cycle,” as described by CEO Paul Hudson in December 2019. These cuts are likely to make little difference to the company's pipeline, which is stocked with 91 clinical programs, including 21 in phase 1, 36 in midstage studies plus 34 that are either in phase 3 or submitted to regulatory authorities for approval.

Sanofi studied SAR439459, an anti-TGFb therapy, alone and in combination with cemiplimab, sold by Regeneron as Libtayo. The 161-patient study finished data collection for all trial participants for the various endpoints on Jan. 26, according to the study's entry on, which was last updated Nov. 30, 2021.

RELATED: Sanofi tears up Sangamo cell therapy deal in pivot to off-the-shelf approaches

The entry for Sanofi’s trial of SAR442085 was updated on Jan. 14 and lists the trial as recruiting. The study of the anti-CD38 antibody was slated to wrap up data collection for the primary endpoints in September 2023, according to the federal register of clinical trials.

The news comes weeks after Sanofi said it would end a cell therapy deal with Sangamo. Sanofi will pull out of the phase 1/2 sickle cell disease trial before the final patients are dosed with SAR445136 in the third quarter of 2022. 

The reprioritized pipeline comes as the pharma behemoth rebranded its corporate logo and websites, and moved its Genzyme and Pasteur units under the Sanofi brand umbrella.