Sanofi saw slight gains yesterday after the company announced big news that it would be buying Amunix Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Shares rose about 0.8% in trading as Wall Street learned that Sanofi would be acquiring the privately held immuno-oncology company.
The acquisition is worth $1 billion upfront and another $225 million in milestone payments.
The deal is expected to bolster Sanofi’s push into the oncology market and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
Sanofi also said that that it will also pay Amunix up to $225 million based on certain future development milestones.
“We are excited to rapidly advance Amunix’s promising pipeline and to combine their innovative candidate medicines with complementary molecules in Sanofi’s immuno-oncology portfolio,” said John Reed, global head of research and development at Sanofi.
“This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in promising research and discovery platforms,” said John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research & Development, Sanofi.
“The Amunix technology platform utilizes a next generation smart biologics approach to precisely tailor-deliver medicines to become active only in tumor tissues while sparing normal tissues, thus bringing the promise of more effective and safer treatment options for cancer patients. We are excited to rapidly advance Amunix’s promising pipeline and to combine their innovative candidate medicines with complementary molecules in Sanofi’s immuno-oncology portfolio.”
Amunix’s proprietary XTEN® masks and cleavable linkers are a next-generation protein engineering approach that allows biologics to circulate in “stealth” mode, becoming active preferentially
in disease specific micro-environments, with the aim to enable safer and more efficacious medicines.
As said in Sanoif’s press release, the technology can be applied to a wide range of existing and potentially new pipeline assets. The molecular design of Amunix’s molecules endows the inactive stealth molecules with long-lasting properties, converting after activation in disease tissues to short half-life agents so that the active molecule is rapidly cleared from the body.
Specifically, in immuno-oncology, Amunix’s technology offers the potential to overcome challenges that have plagued the adoption of T-Cell Engager bi-specific antibodies for solid tumors, including unwanted immune attack of normal healthy cells and systematic widespread immune system activation that leads to side effects such as Cytokine Release Syndrome.
“We are very proud of what the extraordinary and diverse Amunix team has accomplished in the development of our Pro-XTEN technology and rapid expansion of our pipeline,” said Angie You, Ph.D., CEO, Amunix.
Earlier this year, Sanofi additionally said that it would buy two U.S. biotechs, Kadmon Holdings and Translate Bio for $1.9 billion and $3.2 billion, respectively.
So far shares of the company are up 11.2% in 2021.
Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.