After watching sales of its macular degeneration drug Eylea take off toward blockbuster status, biopharmaceuticals specialist Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN ) is eying new opportunities and bought the full rights to two novel ophthalmology programs it's been developing with Sanofi (NYSE: SNY ) .
Regeneron announced today that it will pay Sanofi $20 million upfront for the antibodies that target receptors for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), the angiopoietin2 (ANG2) receptor, and ligands for ophthalmological ailments. There is the potential for Sanofi to earn an additional $45 million in development milestone payments and sales royalties.
Sanofi will receive $10 million each for the PDGF and ANG2 therapies and could earn as much as $40 million more on the former and an additional $5 million on the latter.
Regeneron had originally developed the two programs, but had included Sanofi in its antibody collaboration under which Sanofi will continue to work on developing ANG2 on uses outside of ophthalmology. That will further include ANG2 antibody REGN910 that is currently in phase 1 development in patients with advanced cancer.
In February Regeneron reported that fourth-quarter earnings tripled as sales of Eylea jumped to $276 million. Sanofi owns 17% of Regeneron but cannot own more than 30% of the biopharmaceutical.