Sanofi bolsters transplant business with acquisition of Kadmon for US$1.9 billion

FRANCE – French drug maker Sanofi is on the move to acquire Kadmon Pharmaceuticals for US$1.9 billion, reinforcing its transplant medicines business with a newly approved treatment for graft-versus-host disease.

This new deal comes in hot on the heels of Sanofi’s purchase of another US biotech, Translate Bio for US$3.2 billion.

Sanofi said it has offered US$9.50 per share in cash for Kadmon, representing a total equity value of approximately US$1.9 billion on a fully diluted basis, and that both companies’ boards unanimously approved the transaction.

The acquisition supports Sanofi’s strategy to continue to grow its general medicines core assets and will immediately add Rezurock (belumosudil) to its transplant portfolio,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

In July, Kadmon secured U.S. approval for Rezurock, a new treatment for chronic graft-versus-host disease, a debilitating immune condition that can affect as many as half of the blood cancer patients who undergo bone marrow transplants. Rezurock was Kadmon’s first internally developed medicine to reach the market.

Kadmon’s pipeline includes drug candidates for immune and fibrotic diseases as well as immuno-oncology therapies“, the companies said.

Once the Kadmon acquisition closes, Rezurock will become the third drug in Sanofi’s established transplant medicine business.

Sanofi is under pressure to revive its drug pipeline and is also eager to overcome setbacks in the COVID-19 vaccine race.

In 2018, the company hired a former Roche executive, John Reed, to revamp its research and development operations.

Sanofi said last month it expects several pipeline milestones in the second half, including pivotal trial readouts for Amcenestrant, a breast cancer treatment, and Sarclisa for multiple myeloma.

That was followed by Hudson’s appointment almost two years ago to reduce the group’s focus to fewer but faster-growing segments such as cancer and reduce dependence on Dupixent, its star eczema and asthma treatment that has been leading its growth.

Martial Descoutures, an analyst with Oddo BFH, said Sanofi’s growth profile is well established until 2025, with Dupixent expected to make ever greater contributions to profits and exceeding 10 billion euros (US$11.89 billion) in peak sales.

Our existing scale, expertise, and relationships in transplant create an ideal platform to achieve the full potential of Rezurock, which will address the significant unmet medical needs of patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease around the world,” Olivier Charmeil, Sanofi’s executive vice president for general medicines, said in a statement.

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