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Sanofi and TrialSpark partner to accelerate tech-driven drug development

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French multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare company Sanofi announced a partnership with New York-based TrialSpark, which offers a technology-based model for drug development.

TrialSpark’s tools aim for more efficient trial design, faster trial completion and higher quality trial data. It acquires clinical-stage drugs from pharmaceutical and biotech companies and develops them using its technology. The company’s therapeutic areas include rheumatology, dermatology, CNS (neurology and psychiatry) and cardiometabolic diseases.

The partnership will focus on pursuing the acquisition or in-licensing and development of clinical-stage Phase II and Phase III drug candidates in areas of high and unmet patient needs.

Sanofi and TrialSpark’s collaboration will target six transactions over three years. It aims to leverage Sanofi’s global commercial expertise and TrialSpark’s technology-based drug-development capabilities to explore new clinical development models in areas such as behavioral intervention and digital technologies.

“We are excited to initiate this novel collaboration with TrialSpark, as another example of our commitment to innovation in the healthcare ecosystem,” Alban de La Sablière, partnering head at Sanofi said in a statement. “This collaboration will not only identify attractive late-stage assets, but will also use innovative development plans which could bring meaningful outcomes to patients in areas of mutual interest.”

THE LARGER TREND

About a year ago TrialSpark landed $156 million in Series C funding, bringing the company’s total raise to $250 million. At that time, the company said it was looking to buy or collaborate with pharma companies with clinical trial-stage assets.

Sanofi has set its sights on AI for drug discovery over the past year, announcing in January its deal worth more than $100 million with tech company Exscientia

That deal involves creating 15 novel small molecule candidates in oncology and immunology. Exscientia’s AI platform will be used in various ways, including targeting identification and patient selection.

Exscientia is eligible for up to $5.2 billion in payments for clinical development and regulatory and commercial milestones. 

Additionally, digital chronic condition management company DarioHealth signed a $30 million strategic partnership with Sanofi to speed up the adoption of Dario’s tools in the U.S. market.

Sanofi announced numerous other collaborations over the past year, including its partnership with Health2Sync.

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