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The acquisition boosts Sanofi’s pipeline of immuno-oncology product candidates with a lead candidate in development for treating solid-tumor-type cancers.
Sanofi announced on Dec. 9, 2019 that it will acquire Synthorx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company headquartered in La Jolla, CA, for $68 per share in cash, totaling to approximately $2.5 billion.
Through the agreement, Sanofi will obtain all outstanding shares of Synthorx common stock for $68 per share, which represents a 172% premium to Synthorx’s closing price, according to a Sanofi press release. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.
The acquisition will give Sanofi access to Synthorx’s lead immuno-oncology product candidate, THOR-707, a variant of interleukin-2 (IL-2), which is currently in clinical development in solid tumor types as a single agent and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Additionally, Synthorx’s Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform will work in conjunction with Sanofi’s Nanobody technology and other existing platforms to expand Sanofi’s novel biologics, protein fusions, and multi-specific biologics.
“Synthorx’s exceptionally novel discovery platform has already produced a molecule that has the potential to become a foundation of the next generation of immuno-oncology combination therapies,” said John Reed, MD, PhD, global head of Research and Development at Sanofi, in the press release. “By selectively expanding the numbers of effector T-cells and natural killer cells in the body, THOR-707 can be combined with our current oncology medicines and our emerging pipeline of immuno-modulatory agents for treating cancer. Moreover, Synthorx’s pipeline of engineered lymphokines has great promise not only for oncology but also for addressing many autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”
“We are grateful that Sanofi has acknowledged the value of our Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform and the potential of our pipeline of optimized therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune disorders,” added Laura Shawver, PhD, president and CEO, Synthorx, in the press release. “Importantly, Sanofi has a portfolio of therapeutics that holds incredible promise for combining with our cytokine Synthorins to benefit patients around the world. I want to thank our employees and the Sanofi organization for their relentless efforts on behalf of patients.”