Sanofi collaborates with Warp Drive Bio on development of oncology therapies and antibiotics

Warp Drive Bio to receive funding and milestones in excess of US$750m

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi has extended and reshaped its existing collaboration with Warp Drive Bio, a Cambridge, MA, US-based privately held biotechnology company using Warp Drive’s proprietary Small Molecule Assisted Receptor Targeting (or SMART) and Genome Mining platforms to discover novel oncology therapeutics and antibiotics.

Warp Drive will lead the research collaboration for a period of five years and Sanofi will receive worldwide exclusive licences to develop and commercialise the candidates discovered during that term.Warp Drive is eligible for cumulative payments in excess of $750m across four collaboration programmes, including an equity investment by Sanofi, research, clinical, and regulatory milestones, and research and development services.

The companies will initially focus on three oncology programmes targeting different mutants and states of the RAS oncogenic protein.

Sanofi will lead global commercial activities on product(s) resulting from the collaboration and Warp Drive has the option to co-commercialise oncology therapeutics in the US market. Sanofi will manage all ex-US commercial activities and Warp Drive will receive commercial milestones and tiered royalties on product sales.

Our partnership with Warp Drive is a perfect example of open innovation

The antibiotic collaboration will focus on the discovery and development of novel Gram-negative therapeutics and Sanofi will lead all development activities. Sanofi will be responsible for global commercialisation of the antibiotic products and will pay Warp Drive research, clinical, and regulatory milestones, plus tiered royalties and commercial milestones based on global sales.

Warp Drive believes that novel therapeutics targeting RAS will represent a significant advance in the future of oncology drug development.

Sanofi has been a major investor and partner since Warp Drive’s inception in 2012.

Warp Drive retains the rights to use its platforms to pursue discovery and development against all other targets, both alone and in collaboration with other companies.

The new collaboration emerges from Sanofi’s Sunrise initiative, which seeks to invest in early stage opportunities that align with its development and commercialisation abilities.

'Our partnership with Warp Drive is a perfect example of open innovation which allows Sanofi to collaborate with innovative companies and combine unique areas of expertise to advance drug development in a meaningful way,' said Elias Zerhouni, President, Sanofi, Global R&D.

Laurence Reid, Chief Executive, Warp Drive Bio, said: 'This reshaped alliance enables joint and independent product development by Warp Drive, an important step in our evolution as we advance a therapeutic pipeline using our proprietary platforms.'