Sanofi To Acquire Biotech Company Ablynx for $4.8 Billion

Sanofi has agreed to acquire Ablynx, a Ghent, Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for approximately EUR 3.9 billion ($4.8 billion).

Sanofi says the acquisition continues its focus on technologies addressing multiple disease targets with single multi-specific molecules. Ablynx has a pipeline of more than 45 proprietary and partnered Nanobody candidates, the proprietary name for its therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, for a range of therapeutic areas such as hematology, inflammation, immuno-oncology, and respiratory diseases, according to Sanofi. Eight Nanobodies have entered clinical development. Ablynx’s most advanced product in development is caplacizumab, an anti-von Willebrand factor Nanobody, a wholly owned development program for treating acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disorder. The product has been filed in the European Union and expected to be filed in the US during the first half of 2018.

Sanofi says the addition of caplacizumab to its platform strengthens its position in rare blood disorders and aligns with its recently announced $11.6-billion agreement to acquire Bioverativ, a Waltham, Massachusetts-headquartered company created from the spin-off of Biogen’s hemophilia business. Sanofi said it plans to use Bioverativ’s clinical experience and existing commercial platform to advance Sanofi’s drug fitusiran, an investigational RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic for treating hemophilia A and B with or without inhibitors. Sanofi obtained global development and commercialization rights to fitusiran from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company focused on RNAi therapeutics.

Sanofi also says Ablynx’s ALX-0171, an inhaled anti-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Nanobody, currently in Phase IIb, is a potential breakthrough for the symptomatic treatment of RSV infections and aligns with RSV-associated programs of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business of Sanofi.

Under the agreement, Sanofi will offer to acquire all of Ablynx’s outstanding ordinary shares, at a price per share of EUR 45 ($55) in cash, which represents an aggregate equity value of approximately EUR 3.9 billion ($4.8 billion). The consummation of the public offers is subject to customary conditions, including the tender of securities representing at least 75% of the outstanding shares of Ablynx at the end of the initial acceptance period of the Belgian Tender Offer, and the receipt of required regulatory approvals. The transaction was unanimously approved by both Sanofi’s and Ablynx’s boards of directors. The public offers are expected to be launched by the beginning of the second quarter of 2018. Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter 2018.

Source: Sanofi and Ablynx

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