March 3, 2017
AstraZeneca has decided to partner with Sanofi on an experimental antibody for RSV. The French pharma giant is paying €120 million upfront and up to €495 million more in development and sales milestones to buy into the program. Now, the two Big Pharmas will split R&D costs for MEDI8897, with AstraZeneca in charge of manufacturing and Sanofi Pasteur taking control of the commercialization work.
The biotech arm of AstraZeneca, MedImmune, has been working on this drug, with the belief that it has a new therapy in hand that could provide protection from the respiratory virus for newborns and infants with a single dose per season. The therapy is currently in a Phase IIb study with a late-stage effort in the works.
David Loew, the head of Sanofi Pasteur, said: “RSV is considered to be the most important missing indication in the vaccination schedule of newborns. As a global leader in the pediatric vaccine industry, this deal with MedImmune therefore makes perfect sense for Sanofi Pasteur. RSV causes major, seasonal worldwide outbreaks and the severity is predominant among young infants. We look forward to working with MedImmune to offer a solution to this common lower-respiratory disease when infants are most vulnerable.”