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Sanofi-Aventis, CureDM Developing Diabetes Drug

From Associated Press (April 8, 2010)

NEW YORK -- Sanofi-Aventis and CureDM Group Holdings LLC said Thursday they will work to develop a diabetes treatment aimed at restoring a patient’s ability to produce insulin and other pancreatic hormones.

The deal is potentially worth more than $335 million to biotechnology company CureDM.

Current diabetes treatments focus on either adding insulin into the body or helping diabetes patients better regulate the insulin their bodies already make. The drug candidate, called Pancreate, has been shown in preclinical studies to stimulate the growth of new insulin producing islets in the pancreas. That results in restoring a patient’s normal metabolic function and glucose control in the blood.

Preclinical trials involve laboratory work and often include laboratory animals. The company plans to start Phase I studies, which involve human subjects, later this year.

Under the deal, Sanofi-Aventis is granted an exclusive worldwide license to develop, make, and sell Pancreate and related compounds. CureDM will receive an upfront payment, along with development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Overall, those payments could total $335 million.

Also, CureDM is eligible to receive tiered royalties on worldwide product sales.

Posted: April 2010