Sanofi to acquire Kymab to bolster immunology pipeline
Paris and Cambridge: Sanofi and Kymab, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing fully human monoclonal antibodies with a focus on immune-mediated diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics, have entered into an agreement under which Sanofi will acquire Kymab for an upfront payment of approximately $1.1 billion and up to $350 million upon achievement of certain milestones.
The transaction will result in Sanofi having full global rights to KY1005, a fully human monoclonal antibody that has a novel mechanism of action. KY1005 binds to OX40-Ligand and has the potential to treat a wide variety of 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. The novel mechanism of action may provide treatment for patients with suboptimal responses to available therapies," said Paul Hudson, Sanofi Chief Executive Officer. "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."
"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," added Simon Sturge, Chief Executive Officer, 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."
In August 2020, Kymab announced that KY1005 met both primary endpoints in a Phase 2a trial studying moderate to severe atopic dermatitis patients whose disease is inadequately controlled with topical corticosteroids. KY1005 demonstrated a consistent treatment effect versus placebo across various key endpoints, including in the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) and additional objective clinical measures.
"This acquisition aligns with our strategy of targeting fundamentally important disease pathways. 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," said John Reed, M.D. Ph.D., Global Head of Research & Development at Sanofi.
Kymab's pipeline also includes the oncology asset KY1044, an ICOS agonist monoclonal antibody, currently in early Phase 1/2 development as monotherapy and in combination with an anti-PD-L1. The acquisition also provides Sanofi with access to new antibody technologies and research capabilities.
Under the terms of the transaction, Sanofi will acquire Kymab for an upfront payment of approximately $1.1 billion and up to $350 million upon achievement of certain milestones.
Sanofi plans to finance the transaction with cash on hand. The closing of the transaction is subject to the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other customary closing conditions. Sanofi expects to complete the acquisition in the first half of 2021.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as Sanofi's legal counsel. J.P. Morgan is acting as financial advisor to Kymab and Goodwin PLC is acting as its legal counsel.