Sanofi is pushing ahead with its restructuring plans in France by entering an R&D alliance with Evotec. The French drug maker is set to offer Evotec €250 million (about $308.3 million) over the next five years, including an undisclosed upfront cash payment, to develop joint-research programs.

The German pharmaceutical company will acquire Sanofi's scientific operations in Toulouse, France. Evotec said it will integrate these scientific operations, which includes more than 200 experienced scientists, into its global drug discovery platform. From this new facility, Evotec plans to perform collaborative research with its pharma, biotech, and academic partners as well as internal research. Evotec will also assume management of Sanofi's global screening library.

The proposed deal would have the scientists that are involved in discovering and developing new drug compounds at the Toulouse lab transferred to Evotec, while the remaining employees would continue to work for Sanofi.

With a notable focus on oncology, Evotec and Sanofi plan to collaborate on preclinical development project initiatives. The companies will combine their compound libraries and make them available for screening projects to Evotec's partners.

Evotec will also be entitled to milestone and royalty rights on some potential products that will be generated within the joint discovery and preclinical programs. The agreement is expected to be signed in the first half of next year.

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