Sanofi inks vision, diabetes deals

Sanofi-Aventis R&D chief Marc Cluzel said last year that his company plans to focus on diabetes, cancer and ophthalmology drugs. Today, the company unveiled two deals that fit with that strategy. First, the developer is teaming with Columbia University Medical Center to develop new diabetes treatments. The three-year deal will examine the role of the osteoblast-secreted peptide, osteocalcin, in diabetes management. Researchers at the university recently published a study that found osteoblasts produce a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and fat deposition. "We have spent more than a decade uncovering the biology of osteocalcin," said lead researcher Dr. Gerard Karsenty in a statement, "so we are delighted to have Sanofi-Aventis as a collaborating partner to help us continue this research." The deal will last three years; financial details were not disclosed.

Separately, Sanofi's eye care division Fovea Pharmaceuticals has inked a deal with Europe's Vision Institute to gain access to its technology platforms to study "vascular biology, inflammation, gene therapy and regeneration of the optical nerve," according to Zenopa. Sanofi will get rights to any treatments that result from the collaboration.

- see the release from Sanofi on the diabetes deal
- read more on the Vision Institute deal from Zenopa