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Sanofi-aventis to acquire TargeGen

Sanofi-aventis has signed an agreement to acquire US biopharma company, TargeGen, in a deal which could be worth up to $560m

Sanofi-aventis (S-A) has signed an agreement to acquire US biopharma company, TargeGen, in a deal which could be worth up to $560m. TargeGen develops small molecule kinase inhibitors to treat certain forms of leukaemia, lymphoma and other haematological malignancies and blood disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, S-A will make an upfront payment of $75m, followed by further milestone payments as TargeGen lead product, TG101348, is developed. The transaction is expected to complete in Q3 of 2010.

"Sanofi-aventis brings many strengths to the continued development and potential commercialisation of TG101348," said Peter G Ulrich, president, CEO and co-founder of TargeGen. "With their global focus on oncology and long-term commitment to this patient population, we are confident they will maximise the potential of TG101348 across multiple clinical indications."

"The acquisition of TargeGen represents a further significant step to increase our engagement in the field of haematological malignancies," stated Dr Marc Cluzel, executive vice-president, research and development, at S-A. "In addition, this acquisition is another example of our strong commitment to oncology to provide patients, physicians and public health stakeholders with breakthrough medicines addressing unmet medical needs."

TG101348 is a potent inhibitor of Janus kinase 2 (JAK-2). It is an oral agent and is being developed for myeloproliferative diseases, including myelofibrosis (MF). MF is a chronic and progressive disorder in which there is a proliferation of certain cells of the bone marrow resulting in bone marrow fibrosis and it is associated with activating mutations of JAK-2. TG101348 has completed a multi-centre clinical phase I/II trial in patients with myelofibrosis and further studies are planned later this year.

Besides MF, TG101348 could be effective in other haematological malignancies, such as polycythemia vera (PV), a blood disorder in which the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells.

30th June 2010

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