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NovAliX signs partnership agreement to design and screen Sanofi’s new DNA-Encoded Libraries

Strasbourg, France, November 30, 2021 — NovAliX, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) specializing in drug research and development, today announces its partnership with Sanofi for the development of new DNA-Encoded Libraries (DELs). This multi-year agreement will see the partners join forces to design both general and focused chemical libraries, and carry out screening activities to identify new and useful chemical structures.


DEL technology can be used to support the drug discovery process by verifying therapeutic targets and identifying new biologically active molecules. DELs provide access to a wide range of chemotypes at a far lower cost per point than High-Throughput Screening (HTS). Automating the processing of samples and analytical data, together with the majority of collection tasks, improves the scientific productivity and reliability of screening and production processes.


“This partnership with Novalix will allow Sanofi to accelerate its transition in revolutionary screening technology by creating our own Sanofi-owned DNA-encoded library, significantly boosting our development of innovative healthcare solutions,” said John Macor, global head of integrated drug discovery at Sanofi.


“Throughout our long history in chemobiological screening techniques, we have always championed the potential of DEL technology. We see this agreement with Sanofi as a vindication of our belief; demonstrating the quality of our platform and the interest that the pharmaceutical sector has in this technology, which can be used to create new chemical diversities and to screen at a very high throughput,” said Denis Zeyer, CEO of NovAliX.


In December 2020, NovAliX invested €5.3 million ($6.4M) to expand its DEL platform, with support from Bpifrance and the Grand Est regional authorities. The technological developments that NovAliX has made over recent months with its DEL technology will be put to use in this latest partnership with Sanofi. In particular, this includes the use of new cheminformatics tools, which will allow for improved sampling of chemical space.


The partnership agreement between NovAliX and Sanofi will include exchanges of knowledge among experts from the two partners, specializing in DNA chemistry, medical chemistry, data processing and biology. The partnership is expected to result in the creation of around fifty chemical libraries, containing a total of approximately 1.5 billion compounds.


About DNA-Encoded Libraries (DELs)

The concept of encoding chemically synthesized compounds with DNA was first stated more than two decades ago. At that time, genetics pioneer and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Sydney Brenner, along with research chemist Richard Lerner, conceptualized the principle of coding individual chemical transformations with DNA – paving the way for the rapid synthesis and screening of large collections of molecules.

Since the publication of their seminal paper, significant investments in the development of the DEL technology have contributed to enhancing the drug discovery process, especially in early phase discovery undertakings, such as target validation and hit identification.

Today, there are an increasing number of DEL-based drug discovery programs. However, technology processes will continue to be developed to take full advantage of the vast array of information generated by DEL.


About Sanofi

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.

With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.


About NovAliX

Founded in 2002 and based in Strasbourg, France, NovAliX is a drug discovery-focused CRO with several unique technologies. It employs nearly 200 researchers, with capabilities combining chemistry and biophysics. NovAliX offers its clients original collaborative models and extensive services within the framework of research programs dedicated to drug discovery. Its ambition is to continue its development by both strengthening its internationalization, and extending and integrating the new capabilities essential to the success of its clients’ therapeutic research projects into its technologies and base of expertise.

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Last Updated: 30-Nov-2021