SANOFI ACQUIRES SYNTHORX FOR $2.5 BILLION TO EXPAND ONCOLOGY PORTFOLIOby John G. Baresky on 12/10/19
Synthorx: a fourth multi-billion dollar acquisition for Sanofi in less than 10 years
Sanofi is expanding its oncology therapeutics business through acquiring Synthorx for approximately $2.5 billion. Based in La Jolla, California, Synthorx has a primary focus in immuno-oncology. Synthorx's most current primary development project is THOR-707, a form of interleukin-2 (IL-2) which, if approved and launched, can be deployed to treat multiple solid tumor types as a monotherapy and potentially in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. The agent is intended to increase effector T-cells and natural killer cells that eliminate cancerous cells in patients.
Synthorx has value-added biotech research & development attributes for Sanofi to build on
An added asset for Sanofi in the deal is Synthorx’s Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform. It can be integrated with Sanofi’s existing initiatives in nanobody research and development. This will support Sanofi’s ventures in advanced patient care and healthcare product sectors such as:
- Protein Fusions
$2.5 billion deal a mega win for Synthorx investors
Synthorx had gone public in 2018. These three initial backers will realize an enormous windfall from their investments in it:
- Avalon Ventures
- RA Capital
Sanofi expanding its ability to compete in advanced pharmaceutical product sectors while stacking on debt
Sanofi, which has been reported to be shopping its consumer healthcare products unit as a spinoff or joint venture that could be worth up to $30 billion, has made three sizable acquisitions since 2011 that, combined with the Synthorx deal, will push up its $28 billion debt load:
- Synthorx: bought for $2.5 billion in 2019
- Bioverativ: acquired for $11.5 billion in 2018 ( a spinoff from Biogen)
- Ablynx purchased for $2.4 billion in 2018
- Genzyme bought for $20 billion in 2011
Based in Paris, France, Sanofi ( NASDAQ: SNY ) is a global contender ranked within the top 10 of pharmaceutical manufacturers. It generates over $42 billion in annual sales and has over 100,000 employees.
Sanofi transforming its corporate organization and clinical focus
The Synthorx deal is part of a newly emerging change in strategy at Sanofi. They are not only seeking to further monetize their consumer healthcare products unit through a spinoff, partnership or outright sale but also to channel more focus into global healthcare opportunities based on clinically complex medicines. Their senior leadership team has communicated they are going to be significantly reducing their clinical and financial investments in the cardiovascular / hypertension and diabetes / endocrinology patient care sectors in favor of more challenging life science commercial opportunities.
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