In only a few weeks after Sanofi agreed to purchase Bioverativ to establish a foothold in hemophilia, the smaller company scored a licensing deal with Oxford BioMedica to develop and manufacture lentiviral vectors for the disease.
That particular deal fell through. After terminating a previous development deal with the U.K.-based firm in 2020 – and as its phase 3 project in hemophilia edges closer to completion – Sanofi is parting ways with its remaining Oxford BioMedica partnership.
Oxford BioMedica earlier this month disclosed that Sanofi had resolved to end the viral vector pact, first signed in February 2018. Under the original deal, potentially valued at more than $100 million, Oxford BioMedica licensed its LentiVector Enabled tech to Bioverativ and allowed its partner access to its manufacturing expertise.
Sanofi had signed its Bioverativ buyout the previous month – in January 2018 – and the buyout ended in March 2018. Bioverativ is a 2017 spinoff from Biogen.
A Sanofi spokeswoman remarked that following the creation of the firm’s genomic medicines unit, “we made the strategic decision to bring the development of preclinical gene therapy programs in-house.”
“Our commitment to the hemophilia community remains steadfast as we continue to build upon our legacy of innovation and research potential new treatment approaches aimed at transforming the standard of care enabling people with hemophilia to live more active lives,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Sanofi has its own promising hemophilia A and B candidate in fitusiran. The drugmaker confirms that the late-stage drug candidate has the ‘potential to transform the treatment of hemophilia.’ The med achieved an FDA fast track designation in February.
Apart from the hemophilia partnership the company is ending, Sanofi more than a decade ago licensed two gene therapy candidates from Oxford BioMedica. Without plans to proceed with those programs, the pharma giant returned them to their original owner in 2020.
Under CEO Paul Hudson’s new “play to win” strategy, Sanofi is prioritizing development on pipeline candidates with the potential to alter medical practice. The company has identified drugs in hemophilia, cancer and multiple sclerosis, alongside other diseases, that suit the description, the CEO has remarked.
Aside from Oxford BioMedica’s efforts in gene therapy and hemophilia, the firm has also gotten involved in the Covid-19 response. It has partnered with AstraZeneca to scale up vaccine production as the latter works to deliver on its ambition to deliver billions of doses.