- Companies also announce submission of dupilumab supplemental BLA for uncontrolled, persistent asthma
Paris and Tarrytown, N.Y. – January 8, 2018 – Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) will accelerate and expand investment for the clinical development of the PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) antibody cemiplimab in oncology and dupilumab in Type 2 allergic diseases. Both of these breakthrough therapies have the potential to benefit a number of different patient populations and this strategic investment will enable the companies to evaluate cemiplimab and dupilumab in broad clinical development programs.
Under the terms of the expansion, the investment in cemiplimab will be increased to $1.64 billion, an increase of approximately $1 billion over the initial 2015 agreement and Sanofi and Regeneron will continue to equally fund cemiplimab development. The companies will also continue their investment in other immuno-oncology programs under their existing Immuno-oncology Discovery Agreement. Investigational cemiplimab is being studied as monotherapy and in combination with other therapies in a wide range of cancers including advanced skin cancers, non-small cell lung cancer, cervical cancer and lymphomas, with more studies in other indications planned to begin in 2018. The companies expect to submit U.S. and EU regulatory applications for cemiplimab in advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in the first quarter of 2018.
The additional investment in the dupilumab development program will help accelerate planned new studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, peanut allergy and grass allergy as well as in patients who have multiple allergic conditions. These areas are in addition to ongoing dupilumab clinical development in pediatric atopic dermatitis, pediatric asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis and nasal polyposis. Dupixent® (dupilumab) is approved for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in the U.S. and EU and a U.S. supplemental biologics license application was submitted for uncontrolled, persistent asthma for patients aged 12 and over in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The additional investment will also accelerate and expand development of REGN3500, an IL-33 antibody, with studies expected to be conducted in atopic dermatitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The increased funding for dupilumab and REGN3500 will be pursuant to the existing Antibody License and Collaboration Agreement between the companies.
“The ongoing collaboration between Sanofi and Regeneron underscores our commitment to partnering in the development of medicines to treat significant unmet medical needs,” said Elias Zerhouni, MD, Global Head of R&D at Sanofi. “The expansion of these clinical programs for both cemiplimab and dupilumab should enable us to quickly identify treatment opportunities in other disease areas.”
Regeneron has agreed to grant a limited waiver of the “lock-up” in the Amended and Restated Investor Agreement between the companies, so that Sanofi may sell a small percentage of the Regeneron common stock it owns to fund a portion of the cemiplimab and dupilumab development expansion. This waiver will allow Sanofi to sell in private transactions to Regeneron up to an aggregate of 1.4 million shares of Regeneron common stock through the end of 2020, representing approximately 6 percent of the 23.9 million shares of Regeneron common stock Sanofi currently owns. As of October 20, 2017 there were 107.4 million shares of Regeneron capital stock outstanding. If Regeneron decides not to purchase the shares, Sanofi will be allowed to sell those shares on the open market, subject to certain volume and timing limitations. Further details on the updated agreements are available in Regeneron’s current report on Form 8-K filed today.
Cemiplimab and dupilumab were invented by Regeneron using the company’s proprietary VelocImmune® technology that yields optimized fully-human antibodies. Other than the approved uses of Dupixent, cemiplimab, dupilumab, and REGN3500 are under clinical investigation and their safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.