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Sanofi (France) (SAN.PA) Buys Wellstat Therapeutics Corporation's Type II Diabetes Drug PN2034 For Up To $350 Million


10/21/2009 6:47:27 AM

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Building on Innovation at Wellstat

GAITHERSBURG, Md.--(Business Wire)-- Wellstat Therapeutics Corporation and sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN)(NYSE: SNY) announced today a global licensing agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize PN2034, a first-in-class oral insulin sensitizer for the treatment of Type II diabetes. PN2034 was discovered by Wellstat and is currently in Phase II clinical trials to reverse insulin resistance in the liver of diabetic patients.

Under the agreement, sanofi-aventis will receive an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize PN2034 and related compounds. Wellstat will receive an upfront cash payment and will be eligible to receive development and regulatory milestones totaling as much as $350 million. In addition, Wellstat will receive substantial payments when specified commercial milestones are met and will receive royalties on worldwide product sales.

David M. Wohlstadter, Vice President of Licensing and Business Development for Wellstat, commented, "Sanofi-aventis has a profound understanding of metabolic diseases, including diabetes, and their markets. The capabilities that sanofi-aventis brings to the continuing development of PN2034 promise to maximize the significant potential of this compound for patients needing new therapeutic options. This agreement further validates Wellstat`s drug discovery, research and development proficiencies."

In addition to its novel compounds for diabetes and metabolic diseases, Wellstat Therapeutics has late-stage clinical programs in oncology and an extensive portfolio of earlier stage programs covering a range of therapeutic areas.

The license agreement is subject to antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

About Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes is a chronic, widespread condition in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to transport glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells of the body for energy. More than 230 million people worldwide are living with the disease, and this number is expected to rise to 350 million within 20 years. It is estimated that nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, including an estimated 5.7 million who remain undiagnosed. At the same time, about 40 percent of those diagnosed are not achieving the blood-sugar-control target of HbA1c <7 percent recommended by the American Diabetes Association. The HbA1c test measures average blood glucose levels over the past two- to three-month period.

About Wellstat

Wellstat Therapeutics Corporation is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Wellstat Therapeutics is committed to discovering, developing and commercializing products that will provide new and improved treatments for patients in the fields of oncology and metabolic, neurometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Wellstat Therapeutics is part of the Wellstat group of companies. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.wellstat.com

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Feinstein Kean Healthcare

Jeremiah Hall, 415-677-2720

Jeremiah.hall@fkhealth.com



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