Sanofi ends sickle cell deal with Sangamo

A deal between Sangamo Therapeutics and Sanofi S.A. to develop a new treatment for sickle cell disease is off, announced Sangamo. The collaboration between the two is set to end June 28, 2022.

On Dec. 30, Sanofi notified Sangamo of the change, saying the decision comes as Sanofi shifts focus from personalized cell therapies to allogeneic universal genomic medicine, according to a report by the SEC.

Sangamo received $20 million upfront from Sanofi and was entitled to a maximum payment of $276.3 million. So far, the company has received $13.5 million. As of June 28, Sangamo will no longer receive payments or royalties from Sanofi.

Sanofi and Sangamo had been collaborating on SAR445136, a zinc finger nuclease gene-edited cell therapy candidate. Early data from the phase 1/2 PRECIZN-1 study of the treatment shows encouraging results. Although Sanofi is set to pull out before the completion of the phase 1/2 clinical trial, Sangamo says they expect the study to be completed and for final patients to be dosed in mid-2022.

The SAR445136 treatment has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. FDA and Orphan Medicinal Product designation from the European Medicines Agency. The study, which is ongoing, is the first time the treatment has been tested in humans. Results as of September 22, 2021 showed that no adverse events related to investigational treatment were reported throughout patient treatment.

“Sangamo has been a good partner and this decision is not a reflection on the potential of the SAR445136 program,” said John Reed, M.D., Global Head of Research and Development at Sanofi.

Sanofi inherited the deal with Sangamo after Sanofi purchased U.S. hemophilia specialist Bioverativ in 2018.

Previous gene therapy treatments for sickle cell disease have been halted by the FDA following unexpected side effects and safety concerns.

Sanofi has agreed to work with Sangamo to develop a transition plan. Sangamo expects to continue treatment and is seeking a potential new collaboration partner.