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Sanofi signs neglected diseases deal

Sanofi and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative have agreed a three-year collaboration deal to research new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases

Sanofi and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have agreed a three-year research collaboration deal to research new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), listed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The agreement covers the conditions: kinetoplastid diseases (leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and human African trypanosomiasis), helminth infections (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis), dracunculiasis, fascioliasis and schistosomiasis.

Sanofi will initially bring molecules from its libraries into the partnership, while DNDi and Sanofi collaborate in research activities on innovative molecular scaffolds. The rights to drugs produced by this partnership will be co-owned.

Dr Elias Zerhouni, president of global research & development at Sanofi, said: "Sanofi is committed to bringing therapeutic solutions to those most affected and exposed to neglected tropical diseases.

"In this new research collaboration with DNDi, we have taken a firm step towards greater flexibility in the sharing of knowledge to produce new medicines."

Meanwhile Sanofi also announced that new results from a phase III study showed that the investigational product Lyxumia (lixisenatide), when used as an add-on therapy to basal insulin (in association with or without metformin), achieved its primary efficacy endpoint of significantly reducing HbA1c versus placebo for patients with type 2 diabetes without significantly increasing their risk of hypoglycaemia.

GetGoal-L is one of nine studies in the GetGoal phase III clinical programme, and the second trial to investigate the benefits of lixisenatide 20μg once-daily combined with basal insulin. It was a randomised (double-blind), placebo-controlled study with a 24-week treatment period, with 495 patients receiving either lixisenatide or placebo.

Sanofi's previous work with the DNDi includes the programme collaboration, Malaria Access to Medicines. It won the 2010 Global Business Coalition Core Competence Award honouring organisations who have shown pioneering skills and strategies in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

31st May 2011

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