Insilico Medicine announced Tuesday morning that it signed a research collaboration agreement with Sanofi for up to $1.2 billion. 

The clinical stage artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery company unveiled the deal with the French drugmaker as part of an effort to advance drug development candidates for up to six new targets.

As part of the deal, Sanofi will pay Insilico up to $21.5 million upfront and receive access to the company’s scientific team to “identify, synthesize, and advance high-quality lead therapeutic compounds up to development candidate stage.”

Sanofi will be on the hook for additional payments of up to $1.2 billion if certain research, development and sales milestones are met by Insilico. 

“We are very happy to collaborate with Sanofi, a company with a clear strategy in AI-powered drug discovery,” Insilico CEO Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, said in a statement. “This close collaboration will allow Sanofi to immediately gain the capabilities of one of the top AI startups in addition to enriching their drug discovery pipeline.”

The deal was announced just over a week after Sanofi released its most recent earnings report. In Q3, the company recorded sales growth of 9% at CER thanks to the strength of its Specialty Care and Vaccines portfolios. 

“We look forward to working with Insilico Medicine, a demonstrated leader in AI-powered drug discovery,” Sanofi’s head of China research Changchun Xiao said in a statement. “This collaboration will leverage our complementary capabilities, as well as the co-location of our scientific teams, to boost the drug discovery efforts of the Sanofi Institute for Biomedical Research (SIBR), Sanofi’s R&D center in China.”