The swap represents a novel open-innovation model between pharmaceutical companies. It enhances the chemical diversity of the compound collections of both companies and allows each to screen a broader, more diverse chemical space as the starting point in the search for new small-molecule medicines.
AstraZeneca and Sanofi each have selected the compounds to exchange based on differences from those in their own libraries. Chemical structures and synthetic procedures will be shared to facilitate the use of those compounds.
The compounds will be exchanged in sufficient quantity to enable the receiving company to carry out high-throughput screening for several years to determine whether they are active against specific biological targets. If a compound matches a target, it will go through several modifications to optimize its structure before being classified as a “lead compound” to be taken forward to development.
There are no payments associated with the compound exchange. Each company can investigate the compounds it receives without restrictions on disease areas.