Sanofi partners with G3 for data-driven search for cardiovascular disease targets

Sanofi ($SNY) has enlisted Global Genomics Group (G3) to help its hunt for the next generation of targets for cardiovascular diseases. The deal gives Sanofi access to data from a 7,500-person study run by G3, plus bioinformatics capabilities the genomics player has built to sift through the results.

Atlanta-based G3 has granted Sanofi the right to use its platform with data from its GLOBAL Database, a resource it has constructed on the back of the aforementioned 7,500-person study. The study is using a laundry list of omics approaches, from whole-genome sequencing through to lipidomics, to search for genes and markers that are linked to coronary artery disease. Sanofi is aiming to use the resource to learn more about the molecular machinery that regulates LDL cholesterol, while also picking up insights into how interfering with signaling pathways could benefit different groups of patients.

"Our GLOBAL Database has been developed as a tool that enables drug developers and biomedical research scientists to better understand molecular networks that underlie human disease and thus improve the drug discovery and development process," G3 CEO Dr. Szilard Voros said in a statement. "We believe that precision phenotyping, pan-omics and systems-biology driven bioinformatics are the key components of target identification, validation and the elucidation of novel pathways." G3 will pocket undisclosed milestones from Sanofi as the collaboration progresses.

The focus on applying omics data to the discovery of cardiovascular targets is in keeping with the genesis of one the most closely watched of Sanofi's recent pipeline prospects, the PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent. Regeneron ($REGN) did the early lifting on the program, an experience that contributed to it creating one of the most advanced in-house sequencing programs in biotech. And, while Sanofi has shown a willingness to rely on Regeneron to perform a sizable slice of its research activities, the Big Pharma is trying to equip its beleaguered in-house team to make its own discoveries.

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