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Sanofi to acquire Babraham Research Campus-based Kymab in deal worth up to $1.45bn




Sanofi is to acquire Babraham Research Campus-based antibody company Kymab in a deal worth up to $1.45bn.

The global biopharmaceutical company will make an upfront payment of $1.1bn and up to $350m on achievement of milestones.

A Sanofi building in Berlin (43973347)
A Sanofi building in Berlin (43973347)

Paris-based Sanofi, which employs 100,000 people in 100 countries, plans to finance the transaction with cash on hand. Sanofi expects to complete the deal in the first half of 2021.

It represents another Cambridge region company entering foreign hands, following in the wake of Arm, Horizon Discovery, DisplayLink and others.

Kymab, which had been considering floating on NASDAQ, was founded by Prof Allan Bradley and Dr Glenn A Friedrich in 2010, based on developments in Prof Bradley’s laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. That year’s $30m equity finance from Wellcome’s trust investment division enabled the development of the company’s antibody platform.

It is now a a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing fully human monoclonal antibodies with a focus on immune-mediated diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics.

Kymab’s IntelliSelect Transgenic platforms contain a full diversity of human antibodies, making them among the most comprehensive of their kind.

Sanofi will have full global rights to KY1005, a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to OX40-Ligand and has the potential to treat many immune-mediated diseases and inflammatory disorders.

“The Kymab acquisition adds KY1005 to our dynamic pipeline, a potential first-in-class treatment for a range of immune and inflammatory diseases,” said Paul Hudson, Sanofi’s CEO. “The novel mechanism of action may provide treatment for patients with suboptimal responses to available therapies. We understand from our ongoing work in debilitating immunological diseases how critical it is to find the right treatment for each patient. We look forward to rapidly developing this investigational medicine.”

KY1005 has proved a promising antibody for inflammatory disorders, with trials for atopic dermatitis patients taking place last year.

“The agreement is a testament to the commitment, drive and expertise of the entire Kymab team and we are pleased to receive this endorsement from Sanofi,” said Simon Sturge, CEO at Kymab. “With its significant global resources, we believe Sanofi is the perfect partner to progress

“Kymab’s pipeline of products and the merger will expedite the time it takes for our novel therapies to get to patients.”

That pipeline also includes the oncology asset KY1044, currently in early Phase I/II development as monotherapy and in combination with an anti-PD-L1.

The acquisition provides Sanofi with access to new antibody technologies and research capabilities.

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy of targeting fundamentally important disease pathways,” said Dr John Reed, global head of research & development at Sanofi. “We believe that OX40L, a key immune regulator, has the potential to rebalance the immune system without suppressing it, providing a promising new approach to treating a range of immune-mediated diseases.”


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