Sanofi offers US biotech Principia Biopharma for $ 3.68 billion

The transaction was approved unanimously by the two boards of directors. Principia Biopharma is developing a series of inhibitors to treat autoimmune diseases.

Sanofi employs 25,000 people in France and 100,000 around the world.
Sanofi employs 25,000 people in France and 100,000 around the world. ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

The Covid-19 pandemic does not change Sanofi’s strategy, on the lookout for opportunities in innovative molecules. As shown by the acquisition, for 3.7 billion dollars, of the American biotech Principia Biopharma, a specialist in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and allergies. Sanofi should launch its takeover bid at the end of August and complete the transaction by the end of 2020. The French laboratory will finance the operation by drawing on its cash. “ This acquisition advances the ongoing transformation of our R&D which aims to accelerate the development of the most promising drugs. », Emphasizes Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi.

This is a logical step for the laboratory: it had forged a partnership with biotech which gave it access to a global license to develop and sell a future drug (BTK’168) indicated in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and diseases. of the central nervous system. “ By taking full control “From Principia Biopharma, and therefore from this drug,” we remove the complexities of this priority development program and simplify the future commercialization of this product », Notes Paul Hudson. Clinical trials are indeed promising with “ a strong potential effect On the progression of multiple sclerosis. Phase 3, which precedes the marketing authorization application by the drug agencies, was launched in June. The markets consider the transaction low-risk and well in line with the policy of targeted buybacks led by the French.

The acquisition of Principia Biopharma comes after that of hemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $ 11.6 billion in 2018 and that of immuno-oncology specialist Synthorx for $ 2.5 billion in December 2019. It takes place. two weeks after Sanofi, associated with Britain’s GSK, concluded discussions with the European Commission for the supply of 300 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, under a contractual framework for the purchase of doses on behalf of all Member States of the European Union.

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