Cerep today announced the signature of a license agreement for the NPY1 receptor antagonist co-discovered by Cerep and sanofi-aventis as part of their collaboration initiated in 1998.

The drug candidate transferred by Cerep to sanofi-aventis in 2006 is currently in pre-clinical development for the treatment of type-2 diabetes (1).

The molecules identified through the collaboration have been patented by Cerep. The original contract provided a license agreement would be negotiated by the parties should sanofi-aventis decide to develop one of the compounds identified.

The signature of this license agreement triggers a milestone payment to Cerep and the re-imbursement of certain expenses incurred by Cerep.

Other payments are associated to the success of the program, including royalties on sales once the drug will reach the market.

We are particularly happy of the first success in such a difficult research project aiming at discovering NPY1 receptors’ antagonists. No drug with such mechanism of action is commercialized to date. This innovative status is certainly a competitive advantage for our candidate. The signature of a license agreement demonstrates our ability to lead a high quality research project, but also testifies of sanofi-aventis’ commitment in this program. It clearly confirms the interest of this kind of high level strategic collaboration” commented Thierry Jean, Chairman and CEO of Cerep.

(1) Diabetes is a metabolism disease characterized by a chronic hyperglycemia resulting from a deficiency in insulin secretion, an impaired effect of insulin, or both. Type-2 diabetes constitutes more than 90% of diabetes cases. The population at risk is essentially the population of obese people.