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31 Jan 2018

Case Study: Sanofi’s acquisition of Ablynx for $4.8 bn

French drugmaker Sanofi has agreed to acquire Belgian biotech company Ablynx for 3.9 billion euros ($4.8 billion). This is second deal of Sanofi after Bioverativ in this current month.

Why this deal: 

This deal is fueled by Sanofi to tap the promising new medicines being developed by smaller companies to extend the pipeline. With Ablynx, Sanofi will 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.

A week back, Sanofi agreed to buy US haemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $11.6 billion, its biggest deal for seven years and a major play to strengthen its presence in treatments for rare diseases.

Experimental drug to strengthen pipeline:
Sanofi is already one of Ablynx’s big pharma partners, after striking a deal in July 2017 to find new treatments for inflammatory diseases.

By buying the company outright it will now get access to Ablynx’s most promising asset – the experimental drug caplacizumab for treating the rare bleeding disorder, acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Novo Nordisk also looking for the deal

The rare blood drug was also the main attraction for Novo Nordisk. The Danish group has sat out previous rounds of M&A in the drugs sector to focus on its core diabetes business but it now needs to find new products for its struggling smaller biopharmaceutical unit, where Ablynx would have been a good fit.

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