Sanofi returns gene therapy drugs to Oxford Biomedica

June 8, 2020

Sanofi plans to return the rights to two gene therapy programs, licensed to Sanof in 2009, back to Oxford Biomedica.

According to Oxford Biomedica, Sanofi will return the rights to the SAR422459 and SAR421869 gene therapy programs. SAR422459 is focused on treating Stargardt disease, which occurs in an area of the retina and can cause vision loss or impairment. SAR421869 is to treat Usher's syndrome, which could lead to hearing loss.

Both therapies are related to a development and commercialization license agreement signed in 2009. In 2019, Sanofi announced that it would continue with its phase one to two proof-of-concept study with SAR422459, but discontinue developing SAR421869. At that point, Sanofi was in discussions with external partners to continue further development of the programs.

Now Sanofi is returning the rights to both programs, and Oxford Biomedica said it will undertake its own internal evaluation to determine the potential future for the treatments and decide whether to commit further resources.

In other news, Oxford Biomedica just announced that it signed a new manufacturing agreement with the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre , a non-profit organization backed by the UK government which will help scale up production of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine to cater to demand in the UK and Europe.