Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have announced that they will accelerate and expand investment for the clinical development of the PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) antibody cemiplimab in oncology and dupilumab in Type 2 allergic diseases.
The strategic investment will enable the companies to evaluate cemiplimab and dupilumab in broad clinical development programmes.
Under the terms of the expansion, the investment in cemiplimab will be increased to $1.64 billion, an increase of approximately $1 billion over the initial 2015 agreement. Sanofi and Regeneron will continue to equally fund cemiplimab development.
The companies will also continue their investment in other immuno-oncology programs under their existing Immuno-oncology Discovery Agreement. Investigational cemiplimab is being studied as monotherapy and in combination with other therapies in a wide range of cancers including advanced skin cancers, non-small cell lung cancer, cervical cancer and lymphomas, with more studies in other indications planned to begin in 2018.
The companies expect to submit U.S. and EU regulatory applications for cemiplimab in advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in the first quarter of 2018.
The additional investment in the dupilumab development program will help accelerate planned new studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, peanut allergy and grass allergy, as well as in patients who have multiple allergic conditions.
These areas are in addition to ongoing dupilumab clinical development in paediatric atopic dermatitis, paediatric asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis and nasal polyposis.
Dupixent® (dupilumab) is approved for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in the U.S. and EU and a U.S. supplemental biologics license application was submitted for uncontrolled, persistent asthma for patients aged 12 and over in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The additional investment will also accelerate and expand development of REGN3500, an IL-33 antibody, with studies expected to be conducted in atopic dermatitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The increased funding for dupilumab and REGN3500 will be pursuant to the existing Antibody License and Collaboration Agreement between the companies.
Dr Elias Zerhouni, Global Head of R&D at Sanofi, said: “The ongoing collaboration between Sanofi and Regeneron underscores our commitment to partnering in the development of medicines to treat significant unmet medical needs. The expansion of these clinical programs for both cempilimab and dupilumab should enable us to quickly identify treatment opportunities in other disease areas.”
Cemiplimab and dupilumab were invented by Regeneron using the company’s proprietary VelocImmune® technology that yields optimised fully-human antibodies. Other than the approved uses of Dupixent, cemiplimab, Dupilumab, and REGN3500 are under clinical investigation and their safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.