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Sanofi bags €300m from US investor Blackstone

Sanofi has secured money from Blackstone Life Sciences to speed up development of its daratumumab competitor isatuximab in multiple myeloma.

French Sanofi has secured €300m from US equity financing specialist Blackstone Life Sciences to accelerate pivotal studies of its subcutanous formulation of its CD38 antibody isatuximab, a competitor to Janssen-Cilag’s marketed second-line subcutanous CD38 antibody daratumumab in the rare cancer multiple myeloma. Subcutanous formulations of CD38 antibodies reduce the administration time and the rate of injection reactions.

As part of a rish-sharing collaboration, US equity specialist Blackstone Life Sciences will invest up to €300m to accelerate development of Sanofi’s subcutanous formulation of its marketed CD38 antibody isatuximab in adult patients with refractory multiple myeloma. A pivotal study for the subcutaneous formulation is expected to begin in the second half of 2022.

If successful, Blackstone Life Sciences will receive royalties on future sales. For the isatuximab subcutaneous formulation delivery, Sanofi has partnered with drug delivery specialist Enable Injections.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematologic malignancy, with more than 130,000 new global annual diagnoses. According to Datamonitor Healthcare the multiple myeloma market is expected to peak at $20.9bn in the five major European markets, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and Japan.

Although Revlimid and bortezomib remain the cornerstones of treatment, recently approved therapies (GlaxoSmithKline’s Blenrep, Sanofi’s Sarclisa, and Bristol Myers Squibb / Bluebird Bio’s Abecma or J&J’s/Legend Biotech’s CAR-T cell therapy Carvykti) have expanded the number of options available.