Rare Daily Staff

Sanofi said it agreed to acquire Nanobody drug developer Ablynx for $55.71 (€45) per share in cash or approximately $4.8 billion (€3.9 billion).

The acquisition of the Belgium-based biotech strengthens Sanofi’s platform and its position in rare blood disorders. It builds on the recent announced of Sanofi’s agreement to acquire Bioverativ, which has long acting treatments for hemophilia, as well as a separate agreement to obtain global rights for the RNAi therapeutic fitusiran from Alnylam to treat hemophilia.  

Ablynx is developing Nanobodies, a novel class of proprietary next-generation biologicals. The company has a pipeline of more than 45 proprietary and partnered candidates, eight of which are in clinical development, for a wide range of therapeutic areas such as hematology, inflammation, immuno-oncology and respiratory diseases. For Ablynx, the acquisition should provide it with the accelerate the development of its pipeline and the muscle to commercialize its products.

The company’s most advanced product is caplacizumab, a wholly-owned development program for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Acquired TTP is an ultra-rare, acute, life-threatening blood clotting disorder that leads to extensive micro-clot formation in the small blood vessels throughout the body. It causes inadequate blood supply to tissue and damage to vital organs, including the heart, brain, and kidneys. Caplacizumab is already filed in the European Union and is expected to be filed in the United States during the first half of this year. If approved, caplacizumab would be a first-in-class treatment for this aTTP.

“With Ablynx, we continue to advance the strategic transformation of our research and development, expanding our late-stage pipeline and strengthening our platform for growth in rare blood disorders,” Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt said. “This acquisition builds on a successful existing partnership.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will launch public offers to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares, including shares represented by ADSs, warrants, and convertible bonds of Ablynx in cash. Sanofi said it is committed to Belgium, where it has invested significantly over the years in a state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility in Geel. It intend to maintain and support the Ablynx science center in Ghent.”

The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Sanofi and Ablynx boards of directors. The public offers are expected to be launched by the beginning of the second quarter of 2018. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter 2018.

January 29, 2018

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