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The acquisition is expected to strengthen Sanofi’s R&D strategy with Ablynx’s nanobody technology platform.
Sanofi announced on June 19, 2018 that it has completed its $4.8-billion acquisition of Ablynx, a biopharmaceutical company based in Ghent, Belgium, that develops proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments.
Sanofi and Ablynx entered into a definitive agreement, announced in January 2018, under which Sanofi would offer to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares, including shares represented by American Depositary Shares, warrants, and convertible bonds of Ablynx at a price per Ablynx share of EUR 45 (US$52) in cash, which represents an aggregate equity value of approximately EUR 3.9 billion (US$4.5 billion). The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Sanofi and Ablynx boards of directors.
The acquisition was completed following a squeeze-out procedure commenced on May 22, 2018 in accordance with applicable Belgian and United States law after Sanofi acquired more than 95% of Ablynx’s outstanding shares. At the conclusion of the squeeze-out period on June 12, 2018, 2,893,201 shares and eight convertible bonds of Ablynx were tendered.
Sanofi states that the acquisition is expected to strengthen its R&D strategy with the addition of Ablynx’s nanobody technology platform. Sanofi will also focus on technologies addressing multiple disease targets with single multi-specific molecules. Ablynx has more than 45 proprietary and partnered programs in development in various therapeutic areas including inflammation, hematology, immuno-oncology, oncology, and respiratory disease. Eight nanobodies have entered clinical development.
Ablynx’s most advanced product in development is caplacizumab, an anti-von Willebrand factor nanobody for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disorder. Ablynx filed a marketing authorization application with the European Union and is expected to file in the US during the first half of 2018.
According to Sanofi, the addition of caplacizumab to its platform strengthens its position in rare blood disorders and complements its recent acquisition of Bioverativ, the hemophilia and blood disorders-focused spin-off of Biogen, in March 2018.