Drug Development

Sanofi scraps a PhII IL4/IL13 development program for lung scarring disease

Sanofi and Regeneron have scored big with the IL4/IL13 pathway, which has proved to be a blockbuster approach for their drug Dupixent (dupilumab). But Sanofi’s solo effort on a similar pathway approach for SAR156597 proved to be a flop.

George Yancopoulos, Regeneron

The French pharma outfit noted in their Q3 release this morning that they are scrapping a mid-stage program for the IL4/13 drug SAR156597 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung scarring disease. There was no word on the reason why.

Just a few weeks ago, though, Regeneron chief scientist George Yancopoulos was touting the longterm potential for the pathway as he reviewed the promising Phase III asthma results for Dupixent. His comment:

These results continue to support our hypothesis that the IL4/IL13 pathway is a critical driver of allergic disease, and we remain committed to further investigating the IL-4/IL-13 pathway in other allergic diseases.

IL-13, though, has proven to be a bitter disappointment for the anti-inflammatory sector. AstraZeneca’s tralokinumab flunked three straight Phase III studies for asthma, while Roche auctioned off lebrikizumab after seeing mixed late-stage data.

Sanofi is stepping back from its big antibody collaboration with Regeneron at the end of this year, determined to stand on its own two feet. Their in-house R&D track record over the past decade, though, has been awful.


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