Sanofi snags bigger stake, new pact with Regeneron

Regeneron is feeling the warm embrace of Sanofi-Aventis, France's acquisition-hungry pharma giant. Sanofi has upped its stake in Regeneron from 4 percent to 19 percent while putting up $85 million in an up-front fee to seal a development deal covering therapeutic antibodies. Regeneron could gain up to $475 million over the next five years, and there's an option to extend the deal by another three years.

This deal is packed with all sorts of provisions. According to the wire services, Sanofi--which has signaled that it is still in the hunt for a new biotech acquisition--has an option to up its stake in Regeneron to 30 percent. Regeneron gets a split on profits from any successful therapies approved in the U.S. with a smaller stake for the rest of the world. There's also $250 million in sales milestones after international revenue tops a billion dollars. First target for the collaboration: Rheumatoid arthritis.

- see this release
- read the AP report on the deal