Sanofi signs €414 million deal for C4XD oral IL-17A inhibitor programme

pharmafile | April 19, 2021 | News story | Sales and Marketing Sanofi 

Sanofi has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with C4X Discovery Limited for C4XD’s oral pre-clinical IL-17A inhibitor programme, which treats inflammatory diseases – a multi-billion-dollar market.

Under the terms of the agreement, C4XD will receive an upfront payment of €7 million and could receive up to a further €407 million in potential development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones, of which €11 million is in pre-clinical milestones, in addition to single digit royalties.

The deal will enable Sanofi to deliver an oral alternative to injectable anti-IL-17 antibodies such as Novartis’ Cosentyx and Eli Lilly’s Taltz. Cosentyx has become Novartis’ best-selling drug, with sales totalling $4 billion last year.

The IL-17 family of cytokines are strong inducers of inflammation and are implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases including psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Current treatments targeting IL-17 are monoclonal antibodies administered via an injection.

C4XD’s small molecule IL-17A inhibitor programme can selectively block IL-17 activity in vivo whilst maintaining molecular size of the molecule in the traditional “drug-like” range suitable for oral administration. 

Sanofi will continue to work with the C4XD team to access its proprietary 4D Conformetrix technology, which enables the measurement of dynamic 3D shapes of free drug molecules.

Clive Dix, CEO of C4X Discovery, said: “We are proud to be working with Sanofi to create much needed oral therapies in the underserved inflammatory disease space.  While antibody therapies have demonstrated the potential of IL-17 inhibition in the generation of highly effective treatments, the injectable route means many patients currently do not have access to the medicines that can change their lives. 

“We believe that our small molecule programme has the potential to create high value, efficacious and convenient oral IL-17 therapeutics for this large market. The psoriasis market alone is estimated to be worth $24 billion per annum by 2027, and when combined with Sanofi’s development expertise our programme has the potential to address a number of indications.”

Kat Jenkins

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