According to sources, Sanofi is looking at potential acquisitions in the US, including Principia Biopharma, as it aims to boost its pipeline in areas such as multiple sclerosis and immune disorders, Bloomberg reported. The people said that the French drugmaker is working with advisers on possible deals, although there is no certainty that the talks will lead to a transaction.
Sanofi already has a partnership with Principia to develop the experimental oral BTK inhibitor SAR442168, also known as PRN2246, as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis, with the first patient enrolled in a Phase III trial last month. Earlier this year, the company reported that a Phase IIb study of SAR442168 had met its primary endpoint, with the drug significantly reducing disease activity, as measured by magnetic resonance imaging, in patients with relapsing forms of MS. It later announced that the highest dose of the drug tested in the trial led to an 85% relative reduction of new Gd-enhancing T1 hyperintense lesions.
Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said in May that funds raised from the sale of its equity investment in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals would help the company "execute on our strategy to drive innovation and growth." At the time, Bank of America analysts suggested that Sanofi may look to buy cancer, gene therapy and immunology assets.
Along with SAR442168, Principia is also developing the BTK inhibitor rilzabrutinib for patients with immune thrombocytopenia. In June, the company announced positive data from a Phase I/II study of the drug with plans to start a late-stage trial by the end of the year.
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