Just a few weeks after Sanofi agreed to purchase Bioverativ to gain a foothold in hemophilia, the smaller company struck a licensing deal with Oxford BioMedica to develop and manufacture lentiviral vectors for the disease.
That deal is no more. After ending a previous development deal with the U.K.-based company last year—and as its own phase 3 program in hemophilia moves forward—Sanofi is pulling out of its remaining Oxford BioMedica collaboration.
Oxford BioMedica on Friday said Sanofi had decided to terminate the viral vector deal, first struck in February 2018. Under the original pact, potentially worth more than $100 million, Oxford BioMedica licensed its LentiVector Enabled tech to Bioverativ and allowed its partner access to its manufacturing know-how.
Sanofi had inked its Bioverativ buyout the prior month—in January 2018—and the buyout closed in March 2018. Bioverativ is a 2017 spinoff from Biogen.
A Sanofi spokeswoman said that following the creation of the company's genomic medicines unit, "we made the strategic decision to bring the development of preclinical gene therapy programs in-house."
"Our commitment to the hemophilia community remains steadfast as we continue to build upon our legacy of innovation and research potential new treatment approaches aimed at transforming the standard of care enabling people with hemophilia to live more active lives," she added.
Meanwhile, Sanofi has its own promising hemophilia A and B candidate in fitusiran. The company says the late-stage drug candidate has the "potential to transform the treatment of hemophilia." The drug scored an FDA fast track designation last month.
Aside from the hemophilia collaboration it's ending, Sanofi more than a decade ago licensed two gene therapy candidates from Oxford BioMedica. Without plans to move forward on those programs, the pharma company last year returned them to their original owner.
Under CEO Paul Hudson’s new “play to win” strategy, Sanofi is prioritizing development on pipeline candidates with the potential to change medical practice. The company has identified meds in cancer, hemophilia and multiple sclerosis, among other diseases, that fit the description, the CEO has said.
Aside from Oxford BioMedica's work in gene therapy and hemophilia, the company has also jumped into the COVID-19 response. The company has partnered to scale up vaccine production with AstraZeneca as that drugmaker works to deliver on its goal to deliver billions of doses.