UCB and Sanofi are teaming up to look for and develop anti-inflammatory small molecules that could be used to treat a range of immune-mediated diseases in areas that include gastroenterology and arthritis. Per the agreement, the two firms will share costs and profits on a 50/50 basis, and UCB will be entitled to initial upfront, preclinical, and clinical development milestone payments—ones potentially worth over €100 million ($138.5 million)—from Sanofi.

UCB's research arm, UCB NewMedicines, has come up with a way to identify small molecule modulators of a biological pathway for which parenterally administered biologic therapies have reportedly proven effective in patients. Sanofi and UCB plan to assemble and lead together a team of scientists that will characterize and identify potential new treatments.

“We partner Sanofi’s significant expertise, strong capabilities and resources with UCB’s cutting-edge research skills and breakthrough innovations,” Ismail Kola, president of UCB NewMedicines, said in a statement. “Together we can maximize the opportunity to treat diseases currently treated by biologic agents with small molecules and thus benefit millions of people suffering from severe diseases.”

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