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Sanofi Joins With TB Alliance To Find New Treatments Against Tuberculosis

French drugmaker Sanofi SA (SNY,SNYNF.PK) on Thursday announced a new research collaboration agreement with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development or TB Alliance to accelerate the discovery and development of novel compounds against tuberculosis.

The company said the goal is to select novel clinical development candidates to help stop the global pandemic.

In the deal, Sanofi will collaborate with TB Alliance, a not-for-profit organization to find faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight tuberculosis, to further optimize and develop several novel compounds in its library that have demonstrated activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis or TB.

This includes in-depth research of lead compounds based upon identified chemical derivatives of natural products, which have promising potential to treat all forms of TB. This also includes the chemical optimization of other series of compounds that have been identified as hits through high-throughput screening, the company said.

TB is a deadly infectious disease that affected nearly 9 million people globally in 2010 and resulted in almost 1.5 million deaths.

Sanofi noted that the cost of diagnosing and treating these cases between 2009 and 2015 was estimated at $16.9 billion, with annual costs increasing to $4.4 billion in 2015 from $700 million in 2009.

Sanofi, which discovered rifampicin in the early 1960s, markets several anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Elias Zerhouni, M.D., President, Global R&D, Sanofi, said, "Sanofi's long-standing commitment to delivering treatments for people living with tuberculosisincluding the discovery of rifampicin, the gold-standard drug for tuberculosis treatment, as well as the manufacture of TB treatments - continues with this collaboration. By continuing our excellent partnership with the TB Alliance and leveraging our joint resources, we hope to find together new options to fight this dreaded global disease."

"In working with Sanofi, we seek a common goal - to give patients and physicians significantly more effective treatments for TB and drug-resistant TB. Without new regimens, we cannot stop this global pandemic," added Mel Spigelman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, TB Alliance.

Sanofi shares closed Wednesday's trading at $44.22, up $0.46 or 1.05 percent on the NYSE.

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