Sanofi, Metabolex ink diabetes drug deal worth up to $375M

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Metabolex and Sanofi-Aventis have entered into a global license and development agreement for the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of small molecules that modulate the G-protein coupled receptor 119 (GPR119), a receptor in the gut and pancreas that interacts with bioactive lipids to stimulate glucose-dependent incretin and insulin secretion.

Agonists of GPR119 represent an oral treatment for type 2 diabetes that function through a dual mechanism of action. The drug class could act on the pancreatic beta cells to increase insulin secretion, and stimulate release of the incretin GLP-1 from the intestines, the companies said.

MBX-2982 is currently in a multi-national 28-day Phase 2 clinical study in patients with type 2 diabetes, reported the Hayward, Calif.-based Metabolex and the Paris-based Sanofi.

Under this agreement, Metabolex said it will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones that total as much as $375 million. Metabolex also is eligible to receive royalties on global sales of marketed products.