Sanofi-aventis and Kyowa Hakko Kirin enter anti-LIGHT fully human monoclonal antibody agreement

Sanofi-aventis and Kyowa Hakko Kirin have signed a licensing agreement under which sanofi-aventis has received worldwide rights to Kyowa Hakko Kirin's anti-LIGHT (Lymphotoxin-like, exhibits Inducible expression, and competes with HSV Glycoprotein D for HVEM, a receptor expressed by T lymphocytes) human monoclonal antibody.

Sanofi-aventis and Kyowa Hakko Kirin have signed a licensing agreement under which sanofi-aventis has received worldwide rights to Kyowa Hakko Kirin's anti-LIGHT (Lymphotoxin-like, exhibits Inducible expression, and competes with HSV Glycoprotein D for HVEM, a receptor expressed by T lymphocytes) human monoclonal antibody.

This antibody is at preclinical stage and will be used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The development could also be pursued in further indications such as rheumatoid arthritis.

"We are very pleased with this new agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin that will strengthen sanofi-aventis" pipeline in the field of inflammation," said Marc Cluzel, senior vice president of r&d at sanofi-aventis. "There are very important breakthroughs in the field of inflammation such as anti-TNFs but unfortunately not all patients benefit from these new therapies. Anti-LIGHT antibody may represent an alternative therapy for those patients."

Sanofi-aventis has exclusive rights to develop the product worldwide, except in Japan and Asian countries where both parties will co-develop the product.

Kyowa Hakko Kirin's upfront and milestone payments could reach US$315m.

The La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology (LIAI) discovered the LIGHT molecule. Kyowa Hakko Kirin California, a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and LIAI developed the anti-LIGHT human monoclonal antibody.

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