* Diabetes candidate yet to begin Phase I clinical trial
* Sanofi could pay CureMD as much as $335 mln
* Shares slip 0.4 percent
(Adds shares, background)
PARIS, April 8 Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) has
signed an exclusive agreement on a possible new diabetes
treatment with U.S biotech CureDM as part of the French
drugmaker's aim to become a leader in the spreading disease.
Sanofi could pay CureDM as much as $335 million on the drug
candidate that is expected to begin an early-stage Phase I
clinical trial this year.
The worldwide license agreement is on a new human peptide,
Pancreate, which could restore a patient's ability to produce
insulin and other pancreatic hormones in type 1 and type 2
diabetes, Sanofi said on Thursday.
"Once fully developed, Pancreate has the potential to become
the first regenerative treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
and to address the challenges that the growing diabetes epidemic
poses on patients and healthcare systems," research and
development head Marc Cluzel said in a statement.
Sanofi shares were little changed, down 0.4 percent at 55.09
euros by 0859 GMT while the health index .SXDP fell nearly 1
The most common form of diabetes, type 2, is spreading
across the globe as more and more people are becoming obese and
overweight which leads to a resistance of insulin, a hormone
that helps the body use glucose to regulate their energy.
The world's biggest maker of insulin, Novo Nordisk
(NOVOb.CO) has said that rising rates of diabetes point to
growth of about 20 percent a year in demand for insulin in
(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)