Ardelyx, a venture-funded biopharmaceutical company, has licensed to Sanofi its novel phosphate transport NaP2b inhibitor program (also known as NaPi2b, Npt2b and SLC34A2). Ardelyx will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Sanofi. Total development and regulatory milestones could potentially reach up to $198 million. Ardelyx also would be entitled to royalties on product sales. In addition, Ardelyx retains an option to participate in co-promotional activities for the U.S. market.
"Sanofi's R&D and commercial capabilities in phosphate management are rivaled by no other company, including their ability to test and understand our NaP2b inhibitor compounds in relation to phosphate binders and other available phosphate management strategies," said Mike Raab, CEO of Ardelyx.
Ardelyx's NaP2b program includes a portfolio of minimally-absorbed NaP2b inhibitors in discovery and preclinical stage of development, and Sanofi will have full responsibility for further discovery efforts and development of any products. NaP2b is an intestinal phosphate transporter whose activity accounts for a significant portion of dietary phosphate absorption in humans. The inhibition of NaP2b should have utility for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia (elevated serum phosphate) in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) and other forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD).