Sanofi dips a toe back into diabetes

Sanofi might have walked away from in-house diabetes development three years ago, but it is still active here – in a small way, and at arm’s length. The French group today paid Provention Bio $20m up front for the right of first negotiation to license teplizumab in the unusual indication of delaying the onset of type 1 diabetes. Sanofi must choose quickly whether to go ahead with a licence: it may only exercise this right until June 30, 2023, though there is an option to extend to the end of that year under certain conditions. It is also on the hook for a further $35m equity purchase should the anti-CD3 MAb get approved by its action date of November 17, 2022. The big pharma cannot, perhaps, be blamed for taking a cautious approach to teplizumab, bearing in mind that asset’s long, and so far nondescript, development history. Provention’s investors, meanwhile, made their delight in the deal plain, sending the group’s stock up 20% in early trade.  

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