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Sanofi, Hanmi to look for new partner to commercialize efpeglenatide

Lee Han-soo  Published 2019.12.10  11:43  Updated 2019.12.10 18:12

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Hanmi Pharmaceutical and Sanofi are looking for a new partner to commercialize and distribute efpeglenatide, a new diabetes drug candidate, globally.

Hanmi headquarters in Bangi-dong, eastern Seoul.

Developed by Hanmi, efpeglenatide is a once-weekly GLP-1 receptor agonist for treating type 2 diabetes. The company licensed out the treatment to Sanofi in November 2015. The therapy employs Hanmi's lapscovery delivery technology, which extends the life of a peptide or protein in the body, extending efficacy and potency.

The announcement comes after Sanofi's new CEO, Paul Hudson, unveiled the company's new strategy to drive innovation and growth on Monday. In the statement, the Hudson stated that the company would enact efficiency initiatives that are expected to generate 2 billion-euro savings by 2022.

"These savings will fund investment in its key growth drivers and accelerate priority pipeline projects as well as support the expansion of the business operating income margin," Hudson said. "The efficiency savings are expected to result primarily from limiting spending on de-prioritized businesses, such as smart spending (procurement) initiatives and operational excellence in manufacturing and organizational productivity."

Regarding de-prioritized businesses, Sanofi is announcing the discontinuation of research in diabetes and cardiovascular (DCV) and will not pursue plans to launch efpeglenatide, Hudson added. However, Hudson stressed that the company would complete ongoing five studies for the drug while looking for a partner to take over and commercialize efpeglenatide.

According to Hanmi, Sanofi said that the policy is irrelevant concerning the efficacy and safety of efpeglenatide and that the details of the licensing agreement with Hanmi Pharmaceutical have not changed.

Despite the company's explanation, Hanmi's shares went into a downward spiral. As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the company's stock price stood at 299,500 won ($250) per share, down 6.41 percent from the previous trading day.

corea022@docdocdoc.co.kr

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