Belgium-based Ablynx has signed a definitive agreement, under which all of its outstanding shares will be purchased by French firm Sanofi at €45 per share, amounting to a total of about €3.9bn.
The deal comes after Ablynx rejected the second acquisition proposal made by Denmark’s Novo Nordisk earlier this month for €2.5bn, and follows Sanofi’s agreement to buy Bioverativ for $11.6bn.
Under the latest agreement, the commercial potential of Ablynx’s current and emerging programmes will be advanced by Sanofi.
Ablynx portfolio includes a range of next generation biological candidates called Nanobodies being developed to treat diseases associated with various conditions such as haematology, inflammation, immuno-oncology and respiratory disorders.
This pipeline is expected to support Sanofi’s aim to develop single multi-specific molecules that address several disease targets.
Ablynx CEO Edwin Moses said: “Since our founding in 2001, our team has been focused on unlocking the power of our Nanobody technology for patients.
“As we look ahead, we believe Sanofi’s global infrastructure, commitment to innovation and commercial capabilities will accelerate our ability to deliver our pipeline.”
The addition of Ablynx’s product candidate caplacizumab for the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP) will bolster Sanofi’s rare blood disorders platform.
In addition, an inhaled anti-RSV Nanobody called ALX-0171 currently being developed for RSV infections is intended to complement RSV-related programmes of Sanofi Pasteur.
Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt said: “With Ablynx, we continue to advance the strategic transformation of our research and development, expanding our late-stage pipeline and strengthening our platform for growth in rare blood disorders.”
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and anticipated to be completed by the end of the second quarter of this year.
In response to this deal, Novo Nordisk announced that it will not make a revised proposal to acquire Ablynx, and plans to continue its productive research collaboration with the firm.