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Sanofi boosts transplant portfolio with newly approved Rezurock

Sanofi’s acquisition of Kadmon Holdings adds Rezurock to its transplant portfolio in a deal worth $1.9bn.

Sanofi building

Just weeks after the surprise approval of Kadmon Holdings’ Rezurock (belumosudil) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Sanofi has announced it will acquire the biopharmaceutical company.

The “definitive merger agreement” will see Kadmon shareholders receive $9.50 per share in cash – a 79% premium on its closing price – in a deal worth $1.9 billion in total equity. Markets reacted positively to the news, with Kadmon shares rising more than 70%.

The boards of both Sanofi and New-York-based Kadmon unanimously approved the transaction.

“We are transforming and simplifying our General Medicines business and have shifted our focus on differentiated core assets in key markets,” said Olivier Charmeil, who oversees the Sanofi unit. “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.”

In July, the FDA approved Rezurock for the treatment of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) after failure of at least two prior lines of systemic therapy. cGVHD is a serious complications of transplant procedures where transplanted immune cells (graft) attack the patient's cells (host), leading to inflammation and fibrosis in multiple tissues, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Approximately 14,000 patients are living with cGVHD in the US.

Rezurock is the first and only approved small molecule therapy that inhibits the Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase 2 (ROCK2), a signalling pathway that modulates inflammatory response and fibrotic processes.

The drug will join Sanofi’s Thymoglobulin (anti-thymocyte globulin) and Mozobil (plerixafor) in the company’s transplant portfolio, with analysts at Jefferies predicting it could achieve peak sales of $1bn annually.

Sanofi said it would work closely with other regulatory authorities to secure approval for the drug.

Kadmon is also developing Rezurock for the treatment of diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis and has an open-label phase 2 clinical trial underway. Kadmon’s pipeline includes drug candidates for immune and fibrotic diseases as well as immuno-oncology therapies.

Kadmon is Sanofi’s third acquisition this year. In July it acquired Translate Bio and its mRNA technology while in April it completed it acquisition of Kiadis and its immune-oncology technology platform.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

9th September 2021

From: Healthcare

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