Hanmi and Sanofi reduce diabetes drug licensing deal

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Hanmi and Sanofi reduce diabetes drug licensing deal

Hanmi Pharmaceutical and Sanofi agreed to amend several terms of the 3.9 billion euro ($4.08 billion) deal the two inked last year to develop a portfolio of diabetes drugs, the Korean company said Thursday.

Under the new terms, Hanmi will return 196 million of the 400 million euros it received from the French drug company as an upfront payment. The additional development, registration and sales milestones Hanmi was eligible to earn were cut from 3.5 billion euros to 2.72 billion euros.

Hanmi’s original offerings to Sanofi included three therapeutic candidates: efpeglenatide, a late-stage long-acting diabetes treatment; a combination of efeglenatide and insulin; and long-acting insulin.

While Sanofi was set to obtain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize all three investigational drugs, it withdrew development rights for the long-acting insulin, LAPS Insulin115.

Also, Sanofi cut milestone benefits on efpeglenatide and let Hanmi Pharm cover part of the development expenses. Hanmi also will have to develop the LAPS InsulinCombo drug until Sanofi acquires the product. In the original deal, Sanofi was to lead development, Hanmi said.

“The decision was made as Sanofi decided to focus on development of efpeglenatide, a late-stage treatment which is nearest to the commercialization stage and Hanmi set focus on a weekly fixed-dose InsulinCombo, which is evaluated as a promising solution to cure diabetes in the future,” said a spokesperson from Hanmi.

The shift in focus reflects recent trend in the pharmaceutical market toward the combined drug of efpeglenatide and insulin rather than just insulin alone. Competitors have already released cheaper biosimilar products with the effects of insulin, Hanmi said.

“Insulin has been in the market for a long time, which means there are already a lot of competitors, and we’ve seen some side effects using insulin alone,” another spokesperson from Hanmi said.

Shares of Hanmi Pharmaceutical plummeted 10.41 percent on the Korean stock market to 305,000 won ($252.55) per share on Thursday.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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