Sanofi-Aventis has decided to halt two Phase II programmes that were being conducted with fellow French firm Genfit.

The latter firm said that “as part of the prioritisation of its product portfolio”, Sanofi has elected not to continue the further development of AVE8134 and AVE0847, compounds for the treatment of mixed dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes. Genfit added that it is currently in discussions with Sanofi to examine the clinical results of these products “with the ultimate aim of pursuing the clinical development of one or both of these candidate drugs independently”.

Genfit noted that a pact with Sanofi concerning the type 2 diabetes compound AVE0897, which is in Phase I, will continue and chief executive Jean-Francois Mouney said he is hoping to extend its partnership with the drugs major beyond 2008. He added that “the ongoing prioritisation and reassessment of pipelines at pharmaceutical companies present a real opportunity for Genfit to expand its pipeline opportunistically”. Mr Mouney concluded by saying that “we anticipate entering discussions with many of such companies with a view to acquire compounds in the domain of metabolic syndrome."