SANOFI ACQUIRES KYMAB FOR $1.4 BILLION - COVETS IMMUNOTHERAPY ASSETS : Healthcare, Digital Marketing and Market Access Strategy - John G. Baresky
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by John G. Baresky on 01/12/21

Latest Sanofi Deal Reaffirms Corporate Commitment To Become A Worldwide Leader In Life Sciences

Founded in 2004 and based in Paris, France Sanofi is making good on its strategic plans to become a global biopharmaceutical leader. The acquisition of Kymab for $1.4 billion is a significant investment and addition to its advanced biotherapeutic product development capabilities. Founded in 2010, Kymab is based in Cambridge, U.K. and specializes in the creation of novel immunology therapies used for:

  • Hematology
  • Immune disorders
  • Oncology

Sanofi covets several new products Kymab is currently developing 

One of the primary reasons Sanofi is acquiring Kymab is for it KY1005 pipeline candidate. KY1005 is a fully human monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds to OX40-Ligand with promising characteristics to treat an array of immune-mediated diseases and inflammatory disorders.

The complete portfolio of investigational therapies in Kymab’s pipeline are being developed for these and other treatments:

  • Acute Graft vs. Host Disease
  • Atopic Sermatitis
  • Hemophilia A
  • Solid Tumors

Kymab’s investors come from diverse healthcare sectors

Since its founding, Kymab has raised over $220 million from investment, biopharma and philanthropic organizations. They include:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Hepalink (Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd)
  • Malin
  • ORI Capital
  • Shroders
  • Wellcome

Sanofi launched a corporate makeover strategy in 2019

Leading up to the Kymab deal, Sanofi has initiated numerous actions and strategies to catapult its position in biotech and advanced pharmaceutical product development. 

Early in 2020 the company’s Sanofi’ Sarclisa (isatuximab-irfc), a new IV oncology product from Sanofi was approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of adult patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma. 

It closed out 2020 by forming a strategic collaboration with Merck involving the potential development of a tandem therapy consisting of Sanofi pipeline candidate THOR-707 (non-alpha IL-2 candidate pegylated recombinant interleukin-2 therapy) and Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumba).

Since 2018, Sanofi has rolled out a series of biopharmaceutical acquisitions:

  • Kiadis Pharma for $359 million in 2020
  • Principia Biopharma for $3.6 billion in 2020
  • Synthorx for $2.5 billion in 2019
  • Ablynx for $4.8 billion in 2018
  • Bioverativ for $11.6 billion

In 2018 the company sold it its generic drug unit Zentiva to private equity concern Advent International for $2.2 billion.

Sanofi’s outlook for 2021

There is no telling what’s to follow the Kymab deal in 2021 for Sanofi. Following the coordinated integration of Kymab and Sanofi’s other 2020 acquisitions, a leading priority is to gain regulatory approval for products in the respective pipeline of their acquisitions to help pay for the buyout deals.

It was rumored in 2019 that Sanofi was considering the sale of part or all of its consumer products business unit. This could still be an option that Sanofi has in its business strategy moving forward.

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