Sanofi cozies up to Wellstat for $350M diabetes insulin pact

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Wellstat Therapeutics and Sanofi Aventis have signed a global licensing agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize PN2034, an oral insulin sensitizer for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. PN2034 was discovered by Wellstat and is currently in Phase II clinical trials to reverse insulin resistance in the liver of diabetic patients.

Under the agreement, the Paris-based Sanofi will receive an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize PN2034 and related compounds. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based Wellstat will receive an upfront cash payment and will be eligible to receive development and regulatory milestones totaling as much as $350 million. Also, Wellstat said it will receive "substantial payments" when specified commercial milestones are met and will receive royalties on global product sales.

The license agreement is subject to antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.