Sanofi acquires Origimm Biotechnology to develop acne vaccine

FRANCE – Sanofi has announced the acquisition of Origimm Biotechnology, an Austrian privately held biotechnology company specializing in the discovery of virulent skin microbiome components and antigens from bacteria causing skin disease, such as acne. The transaction adds a potential first-in-class vaccine candidate in acne vulgaris, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, to Sanofi’s pipeline. The deal is expected to close in early December 2021. In addition to acquiring Origimm, the French conglomerate will use its mRNA vaccine platform, acquired through the recent US$3.2 billion acquisition of Translate…

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Novo Nordisk Pharmatech and Novozymes collaborate to manufacture specialty enzymes

DENMARK – Novozymes and Novo Nordisk Pharmatech have announced a collaboration agreement that brings together the companies’ shared competencies and interests in the development of specialty enzymes for use in biopharma processing and regenerative medicines. Enzymes used in biopharmaceutical processing currently account for a small portion of the Danish kr15 billion (US$2.27 billion) market for specialty enzymes, with annual growth rates in the high single digits expected. Older manufacturing technologies are increasingly being replaced by enzymatic alternatives, which is especially noticeable in regenerative medicines, which also require high quality, pharmaceutical…

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Chinese tech giant Baidu licenses mRNA algorithm to Sanofi to optimize mRNA vaccines & therapy designs

CHINA – Chinese tech giant Baidu has announced an agreement with Sanofi, a leading biopharmaceutical company, to integrate LinearDesign, Baidu’s messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) design optimization platform, into Sanofi’s product design pipeline. The partnership is designed to address the storage, distribution, and efficacy challenges around mRNA vaccines. Sanofi will use the LinearDesign platform to contribute to the optimization of mRNA sequences for human therapeutic and preventive uses under the terms of the agreement. This agreement represents a significant step forward for Baidu in leveraging its computational biology expertise to optimize…

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Sanofi splashes US$180 million worth of investment in French AI startup Owkin

FRANCE – Sanofi has announced an equity investment of US$180 million in French startup Owkin, whose predictive algorithms aim to improve cancer research and development. According to company co-founder and CEO Thomas Clozel, the deal gives Sanofi a stake of between 10% and 15% in Owkin and elevates Owkin to the status of “unicorn” – a startup company valued at more than US$1 billion. Arnaud Robert, Sanofi’s chief digital officer, oversaw the transaction, which also included a partnership in which Owkin agreed to build prognostic models and help evaluate the…

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Deloitte, Sanofi partner to automate pharmacovigilance

FRANCE – Deloitte and Sanofi have collaborated on a next-generation, artificial intelligence (AI) software-as-a-service adverse events case intake platform aimed to revolutionize pharmacovigilance (PV) and address some of the industry’s most pressing operational safety issues. Many pharmaceutical companies have traditionally been cautious about incorporating machine analysis technology into a pharmacovigilance workflow, owing to compliance concerns. With the amount of data and the number of sources growing at an exponential rate, many companies have begun to test and integrate machine analysis tools into their pharmacovigilance workflows. A pharmacovigilance workflow includes a…

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Wonder drug Dupixent approved for treating severe asthma in children 6-11 years

FRANCE – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi have announced in a joint that the FDA has approved Dupixent (dupilumab) as an add-on maintenance treatment for patients aged 6 to 11 years with moderate-to-severe asthma characterized by high levels of eosinophils or with oral corticosteroid-dependent asthma. Dupixent has been shown to reduce severe asthma attacks and improve lung function in children aged 6 to 11 years.  It was approved in 2017 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. The versatile injectable monoclonal antibody drug reduces severe asthma attacks and improves lung…

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Click Therapeutic secures US$52 million in Series B funding to expand prescription portfolio

USA – Click Therapeutic, a prescription digital therapeutic company, has bagged US$52 million Series B funding round led by Health Catalyst Capital, Revelation Partners, Sanofi, K2 HealthVentures, Hima Ventures, and RidgetopHealth. Other participants included Health Catalyst Capital, Revelation Partners, Sanofi, K2 HealthVentures, Hima Ventures, and RidgetopHealth. This announcement comes more than a year after the company signed a US$500 million-plus deal with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to jointly commercialize a digital treatment for schizophrenia patients. Click’s pipeline of innovative digital therapeutics covers a wide range of therapeutic areas, including psychiatry…

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Sanofi scores sixth win for its versatile monoclonal antibody drug

FRANCE – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and French major, Sanofi, have announced positive pivotal Phase 3 results from a trial evaluating Dupixent (dupilumab) in adults with uncontrolled prurigo nodularis, a chronic type 2 inflammatory skin disease characterized by severe itching and skin lesions. The trial of the blockbuster met its primary and all key secondary endpoints, demonstrating that Dupixent significantly reduced itch and skin lesions in this investigational setting when compared to placebo. Uncontrolled prurigo nodularis has the highest impact on quality of life of any inflammatory skin disease with intense, chronic…

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Sanofi’s Kevzara shortage looms as Actemra scarcity spills over

FRANCE – Actemra from Roche has been in high demand since its efficacy in treating severe COVID-19 was established, resulting in shortages. Sanofi’s rival therapy Kevzara has now been impacted by supply constraints as well. According to Sanofi, based on current demand, supply of all four Kevzara (sarilumab) formats – 150 mg or 200 mg pre-filled syringes or auto-injectors – will be limited until early 2022. Roche’s arthritis medication Actemra has quickly risen to the forefront of the pandemic fight for critically ill COVID-19 patients. In August, Roche’s Genentech division…

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Legal & General completes £760 million buy-in with Sanofi Pension Scheme

FRANCE – The Sanofi Pension Scheme has insured the benefits of approximately 2,900 pensioners in a £760 million buy-in with Legal & General (L&G) Assurance Society. Despite being a long-term client of L&G Investment Management, this is the scheme’s first bulk annuity deal with L&G. Legal & General, founded in 1836, is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It is the UK’s largest investment manager for corporate pension schemes, with nearly…

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