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Sanofi and AstraZeneca agree massive compound swap deal

Will exchange over 200,000 compounds in a new open innovation collaboration

Sanofi and AstraZeneca are to exchange 210,000 compounds as part of an open innovation collaboration that aims to allow each company to screen a broader, more diverse range in the search for new small-molecule medicines.

The companies have selected the compounds to exchange based on differences from those they already have and each company will receive sufficient quantities to enable high throughput screening for several years to determine whether they are active against specific biological targets.

A compound will then go through it will go through several modifications to optimise its structure before a decision is taken on whether to classify it as a 'lead compound' that could be moved in to development.

Elias Zerhouni, president of global R&D at Sanofi, said: “Sanofi is committed to open innovation in our R&D platforms because we recognise that collaboration is the foundation of every medical breakthrough.

“We are happy to work with other companies if it will speed the discovery of new life-saving or life-enhancing therapies for patients. We believe that this collaboration will increase our capacity to deliver innovative solutions that have the potential to add significant medical value and transform lives.”

The agreement, which will also see the partners share synthetic procedures to facilitate the use of these compounds, will not involve any payments being made.  

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of innovative medicines and early development at AstraZeneca, said: “This is a highly innovative agreement which speaks to our open innovation approach.

“We've worked hard to enrich our compound library in recent years and this exchange, which is by far the largest we have achieved, enables us to significantly increase its diversity.

“Most importantly, it will accelerate our ability to identify unique starting points that could become new medicines for patients.”

AstraZeneca has also recently been involved in three new partnerships in the hunt for small molecule medicines. One is a three-year deal with HighRes Biosolutions, a global provider of robotic systems, to develop the next generation of intelligent robots for the high throughput screening of compounds.

AZ has also partnered with Labcyte and Brooks Automation to use the energy of sound waves to dispense compounds from individual storage tubes into plates for testing. Additionally, the firm has also entered a five-year collaboration with Genedata, a provider of software solutions for drug discovery.

Earlier this year, Novartis and GSK entered into a similar agreement that involved a major asset swap worth $20bn.  

Article by
Nikhil Patel

20th November 2015

From: Research



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