Sanofi inks $375M deal with Metabolex for diabetes target

Hayward, CA-based Metabolex is on a roll, inking its second deal this week. The developer has secured an undisclosed upfront payment and up to $375 million from Sanofi-Aventis for rights to an experimental diabetes treatment. The two companies will collaborate on MBX-2982, a potent selective orally active GPR119 agonist which has completed three Phase I clinical studies and is currently a Phase II clinical study in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The drug helps boost both insulin and a hormone called GLP-1, according to BusinessWeek. It may also promote weight loss.

"We are excited about working with Sanofi-Aventis on this exciting new therapy for type 2 diabetes," says Harold Van Wart, CEO of Metabolex. "Sanofi's clear strategic commitment to the field of diabetes makes them the ideal partner to maximize the significant potential of this compound and provide an exciting new therapeutic option for diabetes patients."

Earlier this week, Metabolex signed a $330 million discovery deal with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, covering the rights to several preclinical Type 2 diabetes programs.

- here's the Sanofi release