Metabolex, Sanofi-Aventis announce new partnership

HAYWARD, Calif. French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis has made a deal with U.S. drug maker Metabolex to license and develop a new drug under investigation as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes, Metabolex said Friday.

The two companies will work together to develop drugs in pill form that modulate GPR119, a protein in the gut and pancreas involved in production of insulin. Such drugs are supposed to increase insulin secretion and stimulate the release of the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 from the intestines. This action may offer Type 2 diabetes patients a way to control glucose and lose weight, Metabolex said.

The agreement between Metabolex and Sanofi includes MBX-2982, which Metabolex discovered and currently is in phase 1 clinical trials. Under the agreement, Metabolex will receive an upfront payment and potential milestone payments totaling up to $375 million, as well as potential royalties.

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