Sonoma Biotherapeutics and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have announced plans to collaborate on the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies for autoimmune diseases.
The collaboration will bring together Regeneron’s VelociSuite technologies for the discovery and characterisation of fully human antibodies and T cell receptors (TCRs) with Sonoma Biotherapeutics’ approach to developing and manufacturing gene-modified Treg cell therapies.
George D Yancopoulos, Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, said: “Both Regeneron and Sonoma have strong foundations in basic scientific research, and by bringing together our complementary expertise, we hope to harness the power of Tregs to make further progress in the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”
Emerging research shows that enhanced Treg cells work directly at the site of inflammation and have the potential to create a durable response.
Terms of the agreement
Under the terms of the agreement, Sonoma Biotherapeutics will receive $75 million in upfront payments, which includes a $30 million equity investment in Sonoma by Regeneron. Sonoma is also eligible to receive a $45 million development milestone payment.
Regeneron and Sonoma will jointly research and develop Treg cell therapies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and two other undisclosed indications, with a Regeneron option for a fifth indication.
The parties will equally co-fund research and development for all potential products and share equally any future commercial expenses and profits. Regeneron will have the option to lead late-stage development and commercialisation on all products globally, with Sonoma retaining rights to co-promote all such products in the United States.
Sonoma will also retain full ownership of its lead cell therapy candidate, SBT-77-7101, and other programmes in development.