M&A News: Sanofi, Biogen, J&J & More 

The latest news on mergers and acquisitions featuring Sanofi/Inhibrx, Biogen/HI-Bio, Johnson & Johnson/Numab Therapeutics, Asahi Kasei/Calliditas Therapeutics, and AbbVie/Landos Biopharma. Highlights below. 

* Sanofi Completes $2-Bn Acquisition of Inhibrx 
* Biogen To Acquire Hi-Bio In $1.8-Bn Deal 
* J&J To Acquire Numab Therapeutics’ Skin-Disease Drug Candidate for $1.25 Bn 
* Asahi Kasei To Acquire Rare-Disease Drug Company Calliditas Therapeutics for $1.05 Bn
* AbbVie Completes $212-M Acquisition of Landos Biopharma 

Sanofi Completes $2-Bn Acquisition of Inhibrx 
Sanofi has completed its acquisition of Inhibrx, a La Jolla, California-based bio/pharmaceutical company, in a deal worth up to $2 billion ($1.7 billion upfront and $300 million in milestone payments). The deal was announced in January 2024 

Inhibrx’s lead candidate is Inbrx-101, currently in Phase II enrollment, for treating alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency (AATD), a rare genetic disorder  characterized by low levels of the AAT protein, predominantly affecting the lung with progressive deterioration of the tissue. Inbrx-101 works by inhibiting neutrophil elastase, an enzyme responsible for lung-tissue damage in AATD patients.  

Upon the closing of the acquisition, former shareholders of Inhibrx became entitled to receive $30.00 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of approximately $1.7 billion (on a fully diluted basis), as well as one contingent value right of $5.00 per share to be received upon the achievement of a regulatory milestone. 

Sanofi completed its acquisition of Inhibrx through the merger of an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi with and into Inhibrx, with Inhibrx continuing as the surviving corporation and becoming an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi. 

Source: Sanofi  

Biogen To Acquire Hi-Bio In $1.8-Bn Deal 
Biogen has agreed to acquire Human Immunology Biosciences (HI-Bio), a South San Francisco, California-based clinical-stage bio/pharmaceutical company, in a deal worth up to $1.8 billion ($1.15 billion upfront and $650 million in milestone payments). 

HI-Bio’s lead asset, felzartamab, is a fully human anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody that has been shown in clinical studies to selectively deplete CD38+ cells, including plasma cells and natural killer (NK) cells, which may allow for additional applications that improve clinical outcomes in a broad range of immune-mediated diseases. 

Felzartamab has received breakthrough therapy designation and orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of primary membranous nephropathy (PMD), a kidney-specific, autoimmune disease, and orphan drug designation for the treatment of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in kidney transplant recipients. Phase II studies have been completed in PMN and AMR and remain ongoing in immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, an autoimmune disease that occurs when clumps of antibodies are deposited in the kidneys, causing inflammation and kidney damage. HI-Bio has plans to advance each indication to Phase III. 

The HI-Bio pipeline also includes izastobart/HIB210, an anti-C5aR1 antibody currently in a Phase I trial and with potential for continued development in a range of complement-mediated diseases. HI-Bio also has discovery-stage mast-cell programs with potential in a range of immune-mediated diseases. 

Under the agreement, Biogen will make an upfront payment to HI-Bio of $1.15 billion. HI-Bio’s stockholders would also be eligible for payments of up to an additional $650 million, for a total potential deal value of up to $1.8 billion, should the felzartamab programs achieve certain development milestones. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, and is currently anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2024. 

Source: Biogen 

J&J To Acquire Numab Therapeutics’ Skin-Disease Drug Candidate for $1.25 Bn 
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to acquire Numab Therapeutics, a Horgen, Switzerland-based clinical-stage bio/pharmaceutical company, the global rights to an investigational bispecific antibody, NM26, for $1.25 billion. 

NM26, which is ready to enter Phase II studies, targets two clinically proven pathways, IL-4R alpha subunit (IL-4Rα) and IL-31, in atopic dermatitis (AD). NM26 targets IL-4Rα, which triggers Th2-mediated skin inflammation, and IL-31, which impacts skin itch and subsequent scratching that worsen the disease. In addition, NM26 could also be efficacious in other inflammatory skin diseases involving Th2 inflammation and itch. 

J&J will acquire Numab’s NM26 program on a global basis by way of the purchase of 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of a newco, Yellow Jersey Therapeutics, which will include the NM26 program, and which will be formed through a demerger with Numab. J&J will enter a separate agreement with Kaken Pharmaceutical, a specialty pharma company, to secure rights in the Asia Pacific region. 

The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the second half of 2024, following clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.  

Source: Johnson & Johnson 

Asahi Kasei To Acquire Rare-Disease Drug Company Calliditas Therapeutics for $1.05 Bn 
Asahi Kasei has agreed to acquire Calliditas, a Stockholm, Sweden-based bio/pharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases, for SEK 11,164 million ($1.05 billion). Calliditas is focused on identifying, developing, and commercializing treatments in orphan indications.  

Under the agreement, Asahi Kasei will pay SEK 208 ($20) in cash per share. The offer will also include a concurrent offer by Asahi to acquire all American Depositary Shares, each representing two shares in Calliditas, for SEK 416 ($39) in cash per ADS, which will be conducted pursuant to the securities rules of the US. The total value of the offer corresponds to SEK 11,164 million ($1.05 billion). 

Completion of the deal is conditional upon customary conditions, including Asahi Kasei becoming the owner of more than 90% of the shares in Calliditas (on a fully diluted basis) and receipt of all necessary regulatory, governmental or similar clearances, approvals, and decisions, including from competition authorities and agencies screening foreign direct investments. 

Source: Calliditas Therapeutics 

AbbVie Completes $212-M Acquisition of Landos Biopharma 
AbbVie has completed its acquisition of Landos Biopharma, a Chicago, Illinois-based bio/pharmaceutical company, for $212 million. 

Landos’ lead investigational asset is NX-13, an oral NLRX1 agonist (a member of the NOD-like receptor family), which is currently in Phase II for the treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (UC). NLRX1 regulates immunometabolism and inflammation, and its activation may address inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis. With a dual mechanism of action that is anti-inflammatory and facilitates epithelial repair, NX-13 has the potential to offer an approach to the treatment of UC and Chron’s disease, according to information from AbbVie. 

AbbVie acquired Landos at a price of $20.42 per share, plus one non-tradable contingent value right per share with a value of up to $11.14 per share, subject to the achievement of a clinical development milestone.  

Source: AbbVie