Sanofi Enters Into Research Collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College to Discover New Treatments for Tuberculosis
PARIS, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) announced today that it entered into a research collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College to develop new anti-infectives that aim to shorten the course of treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and provide effective therapies against drug-susceptible and drug-resistant strains of TB.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Sanofi will provide 80,000 chemical compounds to Dr. Carl Nathan’s laboratory at Weill Cornell, where the compounds will be screened to assess their ability to inhibit growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Weill Cornell has secured funding for the screening activities conducted by Dr. Nathan’s team from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Sanofi and Weill Cornell will jointly determine if any compounds screened through the collaboration should be brought forward for optimization and further development.
“Since discovering rifampicin in the early 1960s, Sanofi has continued to pursue new therapeutic approaches to combat TB, including new vaccines and drug candidates with new mechanisms of action,” said Elias Zerhouni, President, Global R&D at Sanofi. “This research collaboration with Weill Cornell will enable us to explore the potential of our existing compound library and pool the extensive knowledge of Dr. Nathan and his colleagues with Sanofi’s drug development expertise to benefit TB patients worldwide in continuation of our long standing commitment to global health.”
Every year, more than 1.7 million people worldwide die from TB. Today’s TB drugs are more than 40 years old and must be taken for six to nine months for drug-sensitive disease and up to 24 months for drug-resistant disease. Long, demanding treatment schedules prove too much for many patients and the resulting erratic or inconsistent treatment can result in drug resistance, treatment failure or death.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Sanofi and its potential to identify new treatments for the millions of patients worldwide who have TB,” said Dr. Carl Nathan, R. A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology, chairman of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. “Through partnering Sanofi’s expertise in the characterization, development and commercialization of drugs worldwide with our laboratory’s screening capabilities, we have the opportunity to bring our research to the frontlines of the fight against TB.”
Sanofi Involvement in Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is, along with HIV/AIDS and malaria, one of the most serious infectious diseases at large in the world. Today, one third of the world’s population is infected. It has been estimated that every second someone in the world is infected, and that every year around 8 million people will develop the disease and 1.7 million people will die from it. The WHO estimates that between 2000 and 2020, nearly a billion new people will be infected, of which 200 million will develop the disease, and 35 million will die if there is no improvement in handling the infection.
Sanofi, which discovered rifampicin in the early 1960s, markets several anti-tuberculosis drugs. With the Impact TB initiative, which is part of our Access to Medicines program, Sanofi provides quality drugs at an affordable price and is also actively researching new therapeutic approaches for tuberculosis. The goal of the tuberculosis program is to offer health authorities in the affected countries a range of high-quality anti-tuberculosis products, as well as tailored support initiatives, as part of the fight against the disease.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans” and similar expressions. Although Sanofi’s management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such products candidates, the absence of guarantee that the products candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, the Group’s ability to benefit from external growth opportunities as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Sanofi’s annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2010. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.
Contacts: Corporate Media Relations US R&D Communications Marisol Peron Elizabeth Baxter Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 77 45 02 Tel: (908) 981-5360 E-mail: elizabeth.baxter@sanofi- Mobile: +33 (0) 6 08 18 94 78 aventis.com E-mail: email@example.com