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GEN News Highlights : May 3, 2013

Regeneron Gains Full Rights to Ophthalmology Antibodies from Sanofi

Regeneron acquired full exclusive rights to two families of antibodies invented at the company’s labs, but previously included in its antibody collaboration with Sanofi.

Acquired by Regeneron were full rights to antibodies targeting the PDGF (platelet derived growth factor) family of receptors and ligands, in ophthalmology and all other indications; and to antibodies targeting the ANG2 (angiopoietin2) receptor and ligand in ophthalmology. Antibodies to PDGF and ANG2 are currently in preclinical development for use in ophthalmology, according to the company.

For the PDGF antibodies, Regeneron agreed to pay Sanofi $10 million up front, up to $40 million in payments tied to undisclosed development milestones, and royalties on sales. Regeneron will also pay Sanofi $10 million up front, a potential $5 million development milestone payment, and royalties on sales for the rights to ANG2 antibodies in ophthalmology.

Outside of ophthalmology, antibodies to ANG2 will continue to be developed by Regeneron and Sanofi. Those antibodies include REGN910 (SAR 307746), an antibody to ANG2 that is now in two Phase I  trials in patients with advanced malignancies.

According to ClinicalTrials.gov, patients are being recruited for both studies: One is designed to determine the maximum tolerable dose or recommended Phase II dose of REGN 910 (SAR 307746) in patients with advanced solid malignancies; the other is a multiple-dose Phase Ib study of the antibody in combination with aflibercept (ziv-aflibercept in the U.S.).

The PDGF and ANG2 antibody families fit with one of Regeneron’s areas of disease focus, eye disorders. In November 2011, the company joined Bayer HealthCare in launching the recombinant fusion protein Eylea (aflibercept), an injection drug for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion. Last year the drug racked up $837.9 million in net product sales,  enabling Regeneron to triple its 2012 revenue compared with 2011, to nearly $1.4 billion.