Paul Hudson. Sanofi

New Sanofi CEO Hud­son adds next-gen can­cer drug tech to the R&D quest, buy­ing Syn­thorx for $2.5B

When Paul Hud­son lays out his R&D vi­sion for Sanofi to­mor­row, he will have a new slate of in­ter­leukin ther­a­pies and a syn­thet­ic bi­ol­o­gy plat­form to boast about.

The French phar­ma gi­ant an­nounced ear­ly Mon­day that it is snag­ging San Diego biotech Syn­thorx in a $2.5 bil­lion deal. That marks an af­ford­able bolt-on for Sanofi but a con­sid­er­able re­turn for Syn­thorx back­ers, in­clud­ing Aval­on, RA Cap­i­tal and Or­biMed: At $68 per share, the price rep­re­sents a 172% pre­mi­um to Fri­day’s clos­ing.

Syn­thorx’s take on al­ter­na­tive IL-2 drugs for both can­cer and au­toim­mune dis­or­ders — en­abled by a syn­thet­ic DNA base pair pi­o­neered by Scripps pro­fes­sor Floyd Romes­berg — “fits per­fect­ly” with the kind of in­no­va­tion that he wants at Sanofi, Hud­son said.

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