Amid RNA Setbacks, Start Up Bets On Sanofi's siRNA Platform

  • Low profile startup Rona Therapeutics Inc has obtained exclusive rights worldwide to Sanofi SA's SNY siRNA platform of chemical modification and delivery moiety.
  • Rona Therapeutics will make an upfront payment to Sanofi, in addition to development and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on net sales of products. 
  • Deal terms were not disclosed.
  • These rights will enable Rona to expand and accelerate its siRNA portfolio in liver and non-liver applications. 
  • Sanofi receives an exclusive option for selected neuro, and muscular candidates discovered using the siRNA platform for territories outside mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao.
  • Under the deal, Rona also acquired rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize candidates from four liver-targeting preclinical programs. 
  • "Rona plans to quickly advance the development of these programs in metabolic, neurological, and ocular diseases to unlock the potential of siRNA therapeutics," said Stella Shi, CEO of Rona Therapeutics.
  • Sanofi had initially announced an RNA partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc ALNY for hemophilia treatment.
  • Safety issues forced a revamp of that late-stage program when Sanofi flagged a failure for its microRNA drug lademirsen, partnered with Regulus Therapeutics Inc RGLS.
  • The companies teamed up back in 2010, signing a deal worth $25 million upfront and up to $750 million in milestones. 
  • Price Action: SNY shares are up 0.76% at $50.21 during the market session on the last check Monday.
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