France’s Sanofi buys Ablynx for $4.8 billion in biotech mergers along with acquisitions boom

Olivier Brandicourt, Sanofi CEO.

Vincent Isore | IP3 | Getty Images

Olivier Brandicourt, Sanofi CEO.

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

Brandicourt said caplacizumab would likely complement Sanofi’s line-up of blood products, following the acquisition of Bioverativ along with an earlier deal to obtain global rights for fitusiran through Alnylam.

Analysts at Liberum said Sanofi would likely be able to use its existing infrastructure along with the recently acquired platform through Bioverativ to help to commercialise caplacizumab.

The rare blood drug was also the main attraction for Novo Nordisk.

The Danish group has sat out previous rounds of M&A inside the drugs sector to focus on its core diabetes business however in which currently needs to find completely new products for its struggling smaller biopharmaceutical unit, where Ablynx would likely have been a Great fit.

A spokesman for Novo Nordisk declined to comment on the Sanofi deal.

Shares in Sanofi were little changed in early trade, following news the French company was paying far more for a business than Novo had offered just a few weeks ago.

Pricing considerations were offset by relief in which Sanofi was finally taking action to improve its drugs portfolio, following its past failure to land big deals.

Sanofi lost out on buying California-based cancer specialist Medivation to Pfizer in 2016, along with also missed acquiring Swiss biotech company Actelion, which was bought by Johnson & Johnson last year.

Morgan Stanley along with Lazard advised Sanofi on the deal while JP Morgan advised Ablynx. ($1 = 0.8055 euros)

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