Sanofi has announced a collaboration with investment management firm Blackstone to advance an innovative treatment for multiple myeloma.
Under the collaboration, funds managed by Blackstone Life Sciences (BXLS) will provide $329.1m (€300m) to speed up the pivotal studies as well as clinical development programme for a subcutaneous formulation of the anti-CD38 antibody Sarclisa to treat multiple myeloma (MM) patients.
BXLS will receive royalties on future sales of the new formulation of Sarclisa if it is successful.
A monoclonal antibody, Sarclisa is designed to target a specific epitope on the CD38 receptor on MM cells.
It works through several mechanisms of action including immunomodulatory activity and programmed tumour cell death (apoptosis).
The antibody is currently approved to treat relapsed MM (RRMM) in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in many countries.
It is being investigated across the MM treatment continuum to treat other hematologic malignancies and solid tumours.
Sanofi stated that the pivotal study for the subcutaneous formulation of Sarclisa is anticipated to start in the second half of this year.
Sanofi Research and Development global head John Reed said: “The collaboration with Blackstone will accelerate our ability to offer patients a subcutaneous anti-CD38 antibody therapy that we believe will be innovative and more convenient.
“We are committed to building an industry-leading, sustainable pipeline with a steady stream of new therapies that have the potential to transform the practice of medicine.”
The company has also collaborated with Enable Injections to advance the development of Sarclisa’s subcutaneous formulation.