Sanofi Strikes Deal With Mysterious Psychedelics Biotech Terran
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New York-based Terran Biosciences inked a deal with Paris-based Sanofi for two late-stage central nervous system (CNS) assets. Details are sparse, but the company plans to advance them for neurological and psychiatric indications, which were not specified.
Terran reports that the pipeline products from Sanofi have generated four Investigational New Drug (IND) applications with more than 104 clinical studies involving more than 15,000 patients across a range of CNS indications.
Neurology is not one of Sanofi’s deepest pipeline areas, with only four products listed: SAR443820, in development for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); SAR441344 for multiple sclerosis (MS); SAR445088 for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), a rare type of autoimmune disorder; and tolebrutinib, a BTK inhibitor under development for three forms of multiple sclerosis (relapsing, primary progressive, and secondary progression) and myasthenia gravis.
Recently, Terran announced it had acquired Blumentech’s full patent portfolio and accompanying data. The portfolio includes discoveries by the late Jordi Riba Serrano, Ph.D., an ethno-pharmacologist and pioneer of psychedelics research. Riba Blumentech founded Blumentech in 2017 as a spinout to advance his research. He was a senior researcher at the Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona. Riba Serrano died in 2020, and Blumentech was taken over by his son Marc Riba.
At the time of the deal with Terran, Marc Riba said his father’s legacy was to find solutions for mental and neurological diseases.
“Thanks to our great team at Blumentech, led by Gerard de Lucas, we were able to protect and expand my father’s intellectual property. Now we are happy to partner with the team at Terran, who we know will be able to ensure his important work continues and take his vision to the next level. We have been impressed by their team, IP, portfolio, and novel approach to the space, and we have faith they will be successful in delivering new therapeutic options to patients in need.”
Terran reportedly had a “rapidly growing IP portfolio of over 150 patent applications in the psychedelic space, which includes patents on Terran’s orally-active DMT compound, a product of Terran’s robust medicinal chemistry drug discovery program.”
Only a month ago, on March 16, Terran entered into an agreement with Columbia University and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene (RFMH) to develop and commercialize Columbia’s proprietary CNS biomarker software platform and patent portfolio. The foundational algorithms have demonstrated potential clinical applications across several indications including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, major depression, drug addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Terran plans to integrate these algorithms into its cloud-based software as a medical device (SaMD) platform. It is also sponsoring additional clinical research at RFMH and Columbia, expanding the dataset, indications, and patent portfolio.
And on March 11, Terran acquired a portfolio of Concert Pharmaceuticals’ CNS therapeutics and IP.
Dr. Sam Clark, MD, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Terran, stated at the time, “It is Terran’s goal to become an industry leader in neuropsychiatry by providing a suite of solutions for patients suffering from these diseases, which have not had many, if any, therapeutic options historically. With this acquisition from Concert, we get even closer to our goal.”
Only three days earlier, on March 8, Terran announced a deal with the University of Maryland, Baltimore for a worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialize a portfolio of UMB’s patents and data related to neurological and psychiatric illnesses with psychedelic drugs. Again, no financial details were released, no specifics about the indications, or even about when the company was founded and where its funding for this rapid series of acquisitions and licenses originated.
Terran is listed on the Catalytic Impact Foundation (CIF) with an indication that it is “backed by a number of life science and tech investors.” CIF indicates it is a charitable organization whose mission is “to accelerate innovations in life sciences and healthcare, funding companies that address high unmet medical need.” Terran apparently also has backing from Transhuman Capital and Noetic Fund.