Sanofi to develop Principia’s BTK inhibitor for multiple sclerosis

Sanofi has signed a licence agreement to develop Principia Biopharma’s Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor (PRN2246), which is currently in clinical development.

Principia’s experimental oral treatment shows promise in multiple sclerosis (MS) and potentially other central nervous system (CNS) diseases.

PRN2246 will access the brain and spinal cord by crossing the blood-brain barrier and impact immune cell and brain cell signalling.

Sanofi MS / Neuroscience Therapeutic Research Area global head Rita Balice-Gordon said: “Our agreement with Principia is an example of Sanofi’s strategic commitment to build our drug discovery and development pipeline in MS and neurological diseases.

“Complementing our own internal R&D expertise and external relationships like this may accelerate delivery of new treatments to patients living with these serious diseases.”

Under the agreement, Principia will grant an exclusive, worldwide licence to Sanofi for the development and commercialisation of PRN2246.

The company will receive a $40m upfront payment, $765m future milestone payments and royalties on product sales, from Sanofi.

Principia Biopharma CEO Martin Babler said: “The agreement allows Principia to maximise the BTK opportunity in neurology with a strong partner for PRN2246 while focusing internal resources on our lead BTK inhibitor in another therapeutic area.

“PRN2246 is a blood-brain barrier crossing, highly potent BTK inhibitor, that we believe is especially well suited for the treatment of MS and other neurological disorders.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

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