Sanofi and DiCE Molecules have formed a five-year global collaboration that aims to discover potential new therapeutics for up to 12 different targets within the French drug giant’s areas of strategic interest, including oncology, cardiovascular and diabetes.

A joint steering committee will oversee the initiative, which plans to leverage DiCE’s unique technology platform to select and optimise low molecular weight compounds against targets, address long-standing chemistry issues and enable monoclonal antibodies to be replaced by orally administered medicines. 

“In the past, targeting protein-protein interfaces with small molecules was not thought possible in a generalisable fashion, especially in the development of orally bioavailable drugs,” said Kevin Judice, DiCe’s chief executive. “Our platform is uniquely positioned to overcome these historical challenges and this partnership with Sanofi reinforces the potential of our technology”. 

The collaboration falls under Sanofi's Sunrise Initiative, a strategic partnership model that seeks to invest in early stage transformative opportunities that align with its expert development and commercialisation abilities. 

This provides funding in excess of $50 million in equity, upfront, target exclusivity, technology access fees and research services, along with up to $184 million in research, clinical and regulatory milestone payments per target, and royalty payments based on future annual net sales of each compound developed by Sanofi.