Sanofi-aventis and MMV join forces to develop innovative malaria drugs

The three year research agreement aims to develop drug candidates from a set of sanofi-aventis’ compounds.

05 May 2011

Paris, France – May 5, 2011 – Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) announced today that they have signed an alliance agreement to research malaria treatments as well as the first research project agreement within the framework of the alliance.

As part of the agreement, both parties will work together to identify, characterize and optimize new candidate compounds to treat malaria and conduct early development programs to demonstrate proof of concept in men. The three-year research project agreement, called “Orthology Malaria,” aims to develop drug candidates from a set of sanofi-aventis’ compounds that have been selected for their potential activity against malaria parasites. Each stage of the project will be evaluated by the sanofi-aventis/MMV joint steering committee and assessed according to MMV’s criteria for compound progression

“Sanofi-aventis has a long standing history in the pursuit of novel anti-malarial compounds, which are essential to save the lives of more than 750,000 people annually. By joining forces with MMV in the search for innovative anti-malarial drugs, sanofi-aventis will stay one step ahead in the fight against the malaria parasites that are beginning to show resistance to existing treatments,” said Dr. Elias Zerhouni, President, Global Research & Development, sanofi-aventis. “This new partnership will enable us to mobilize each organization’s expertise, resources and know-how to identify novel medicines for malaria patients.”

“The development of new malaria medicines requires the existence of a generous cache of promising compounds of which only a handful will emerge as groundbreaking treatments, after a series of rigorous trials,” said David Reddy, CEO, Medicines for Malaria Venture. “Working with the committed sanofi-aventis team will help us fill that cache. Given the emerging threat of resistance to artemisinin in S.E. Asia, now, more than ever before, we need to ensure we have alternatives to artemisinin in the medicine chest, to fight this terrible disease.”