Sanofi has entered an agreement to acquire Protein Sciences, a privately held vaccines biotechnology company based in Meriden, Connecticut, US.

As part of the deal, Sanofi will make an upfront payment of $650m and pay around $100m after certain milestones have been achieved.

The acquisition will add Flublok, a recombinant-based influenza vaccine, to Sanofi’s vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur’s portfolio.

In October last year, Protein Sciences received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Flublok Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIV).

Sanofi executive vice-president and Sanofi Pasteur head David Loew said: "The acquisition of Protein Sciences will allow us to broaden our flu portfolio with the addition of a non-egg-based vaccine."

"The acquisition of Protein Sciences will allow us to broaden our flu portfolio with the addition of a non-egg-based vaccine."

The proposed acquisition has been unanimously approved by Protein Sciences' board of directors and a majority of Protein Sciences shareholders.

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Subject to customary regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Protein Sciences president and chief executive officer Manon Cox added: "Protein Sciences was actively looking for an opportunity to grow its business, particularly in the US.

"As part of Sanofi Pasteur, we expect our Flublok influenza vaccine to benefit from Sanofi Pasteur’s expertise in the field of influenza vaccines."

Sanofi Pasteur produces vaccines against seasonal influenza at its four sites in Swiftwater, US, Val de Reuil, France, Ocoyoacac, Mexico, and Shenzhen, China.