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Ascenta Therapeutics Licenses Cancer Drug Candidates to sanofi-aventis
Date:6/4/2010

MALVERN, Pa., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascenta Therapeutics announced today the signing of a global collaboration and licensing agreement with sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) covering several early-stage agents being investigated for their potential to restore tumor cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).  These orally-active, small-molecule drug candidates inhibit the interaction between HDM2 (Human Double Minute 2) and p53, removing a block to normal p53 tumor suppressor function and potentially enhancing cancer control and treatment.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ascenta Therapeutics has given sanofi-aventis an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture, and commercialize all compounds issued from this program. In return, Ascenta will receive an upfront payment, as well as development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments that could reach a total of $398 million. In addition, Ascenta is eligible to receive tiered royalties on worldwide product sales.

The agreement includes two agents that Ascenta Therapeutics previously in-licensed from the University of Michigan, MI-773 and MI-519-64, which should soon enter preclinical development.  Both Ascenta Therapeutics and sanofi-aventis will continue to fund research on these targets at the University of Michigan, and Ascenta Therapeutics may participate in ongoing research activities and potential future clinical development.

"Ascenta's mission since its founding has been to discover and develop novel small molecules that can trigger apoptosis in cancer cells. Sanofi-aventis has a great record of bringing innovati
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SOURCE Ascenta Therapeutics
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