Sanofi snags diabetes drug in $350M licensing pact

Sanofi-Aventis is bringing out its well-worn checkbook to complete another deal--this time in-licensing a mid-stage diabetes therapy from Gaithersburg, MD-based Wellstat Therapeutics as it builds a portfolio of experimental drugs around its blockbuster drug Lantus (insulin glargine).

Wellstat gets an undisclosed upfront payment and a package of regulatory and clinical milestones worth up to $350 million in the deal for PN2034, an oral insulin sensitizer which is currently in mid-stage trials to reverse insulin resistance in the livers of diabetic patients. Sanofi markets Lantus, a blockbuster diabetes drug that is its second-biggest therapy on the market.

This is just the latest in a string of deals for the aggressive pharma giant. Just a few weeks ago Sanofi agreed to buy out Fovea and in-licensed an early-stage antibody cancer program initiated by Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Analysts at Natixis Securities said earlier this month that Sanofi will probably spend $22 billion on new technology over the next three years.

- check out the release for more info