Sanofi and Evotec enter collaboration for development of novel diabetes treatments

Written by Elena Conroy

The two companies are collaborating to develop beta cell-replacement therapy for diabetes sufferers

Sanofi (France) announced that it has entered strategic research collaboration with Evotec (Germany) to develop beta cell-modulating diabetes treatments, which may reduce or eventually eliminate the need for insulin injections. Beta cells play an essential role in the pathogenesis of diabetes, a condition which affects 387 million patients worldwide.

“With the significant burden of diabetes worldwide, it is imperative we continue challenging ourselves to develop treatment breakthroughs for the millions of people living with this progressive and debilitating disease,” commented Philip Larsen, Vice President, Global Head of Diabetes Research and Translational Science at Sanofi. “This collaboration will leverage Evotec’s expertise in technology and Sanofi’s extensive experience and leadership in diabetes. Our shared vision is to change how diabetes is treated in the future by developing novel therapeutic approaches to disease management.”

The new research collaboration will focus on developing a beta cell-replacement therapy based on functional human beta cells derived from human stem cells. The companies are also planning to use human beta cells for high-throughput drug screening to identify beta cell-active small molecules or biologics.

“Stem cell-based drug discovery and development is on the cutting edge of therapeutic innovation,” explained Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec. “We are very proud to partner with Sanofi, a company with a deep history in diabetes, in a truly complementary collaboration to enhance how this disease is treated in the future.”

Under this agreement, Evotec will be entitled to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, which could total more than €300 million, and royalties on net sales.