Sanofi Beats Novo Nordisk for Ablynx Acquisition

Published on: 29 Jan, 2018

French drug maker Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) has entered into an agreement to acquire Ablynx for 3.9 billion euros or 45 euros per share ($4.8 billion), beating Novo Nordisk’s bid. Under the agreement, Sanofi will acquire all outstanding shares, warrants and convertibles bond.

Nordisk said it does not intend to revise its offer.

Sanofi’s acquisition of Ablynx comes a week after its acquisition of Bioverativ for $11.6 billion. The acquisition expanded Sanofi’s portfolio, positioning itself into a leader in the hemophilia market. The addition of Ablynx and Bioverativ supports Sanofi’s project of “Reshape the portfolio” which is to expand its presence in speciality care and bolster its position in rare diseases.

Ablynx is currently developing its caplacizumab (anti-vWF Nanobody), a treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP). The product is already filed in the European Union and expected to be filed in the U.S. during the first half of this year.

Adding caplacizumab strengthens Sanofi’s rare blood disorder position, working hand in hand with its Bioverativ acquisition.

“This acquisition builds on a successful existing partnership. We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to Belgium, where we have invested significantly over the years in our state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility in Geel. We intend to maintain and support the Ablynx science center in Ghent.” said Sanofi’s Chief Executive Officer Olivier Brandicourt.

Sanofi’s acquisitions marks yet another major agreement within the year already. Analysts have already been projecting for more biotech mergers and acquisitions in 2018. Analysts are saying that many biotech companies are looking to expand their portfolios into different areas or strengthen the fields they are already in.

”As we look ahead, we believe Sanofi’s global infrastructure, commitment to innovation and commercial capabilities will accelerate our ability to deliver our pipeline.  Our Board of Directors feels strongly that this transaction represents compelling value for shareholders and maximizes the potential of our pipeline to the benefit of all stakeholders.” said Ablynx’s Chief Executive Officer Edwin Moses.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.


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Marco Zhou



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