Sanofi Acquires Principia Biopharma for $3.7 Billion

31st July 2020

Sanofi Acquires Principia Biopharma for $3.7 Billion

Sanofi has agreed to buy San Francisco-based US company Principia Biopharma for $3.68 billion, boosting its pipeline of treatments for autoimmune disorders. The deal gives the French drugmaker access to Principia’s bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors, which are showing promise in blocking or disrupting the signaling processes that cause inflammation and tissue destruction in autoimmune diseases.

Sanofi's CEO Paul Hudson said: “This acquisition advances our ongoing R&D transformation to accelerate development of the most promising medicines that will address significant patient needs.” He added: “The addition of multiple BTK inhibitors to our pipeline demonstrates our commitment to strategic product acquisitions in our priority therapeutic areas. Full ownership of our brain-penetrant BTK inhibitor ‘168 removes complexities for this priority development program and simplifies future commercialization.”

In 2017, Sanofi formed a collaboration with Principia, gaining an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialize BTK inhibitor ‘168 in multiple sclerosis and other central nervous system diseases.
The Financial Times said this second and largest acquisition by Hudson since he took charge of Sanofi last year reflects his strategy of focusing on specialty medicines for cancer and rare diseases, rather than the mass-market cardiovascular and diabetes drugs that have traditionally generated its revenues.

According to Jefferies analyst Peter Welford, Sanofi still has “firepower left for further bolt-on acquisitions,” estimating that the French pharma could spend up to €25 billion on deals. According to Jefferies, the BTK inhibitor ’168 could generate peak global sales of $2 billion if it is approved.
Sanofi expects to close the Principia acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to customary conditions. Once completed, the US biopharma will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi.

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