The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi said Monday that it would buy the Belgian biotech company Ablynx for 3.9 billion euros, thus strengthening again its position in the rare hematologic diseases market, a week after its announcement of the acquisition of the American Bioverativ, specialized in hemophilia.
According to the agreement between the two companies, Sanofi will offer 45 euros in cash per Ablynx share and will launch tender offers early in the second quarter of 2018, says a statement from the French group.
Ablynx had already been approached by the Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, who proposed early January 2.6 billion euros to buy the company. But the Belgian group declined this offer, believing that it did not sufficiently reflect its value.
The price offered by Sanofi represents a premium of 21.2% compared to Ablynx’s closing price on Friday night.
Through this acquisition, the French group wants to “accelerate the development (…) of Ablynx’s research programs”, specialized in the discovery and development of nanobodies, therapeutic proteins derived from antibody fragments.
Sanofi will notably strengthen itself in the rare diseases market with the inclusion in its portfolio of caplacizumab, a development program for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (acquired PTT), the most advanced of Ablynx products.
“With Ablynx, we continue to progress in the strategic transformation of our research and development, expanding our portfolio of products in advanced development and enriching our platform dedicated to rare hematologic diseases,” said Olivier Brandicourt, CEO of Sanofi, cited in the press release.
Last Monday, Sanofi announced the $ 11.6 billion takeover of US biotech Bioverativ, its largest acquisition since Genzyme, another US biotech developing treatments for rare diseases, in 2011.