Ablynx is a pioneer in the discovery and development of nanobodies, medications based on antibodies that come from camels and llamas. The Ghent-based company is a spin-off of the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). Edwin Moses (CEO of Ablynx): “With Sanofi supporting us, we hope to accelerate the commercialization of our medicines. We want to combine our strengths with those of Sanofi while maintaining our position in Ghent.”
The French pharma company pays EUR 45 per share for the Ghent-based biotech spin-off, raising the latest stock value of Ablynx by 21%.
The announcement comes shortly after a Danish bid on Ablynx: in December, Novo Nordisk offered the spin-off EUR 2.6 billion. Ablynx, however, declined the proposal, which they deemed a fundamental undervaluation. After Sanofi put EUR 3.9 billion on the table, the Danish firm pulled out of the race.
Sanofi is one of the largest pharma manufacturers worldwide. The French company develops drugs for cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as well as numerous vaccines. The deal with Ablynx is Sanofi’s second billion-euro acquisition of 2018, after purchasing US-based Bioverativ for EUR 9.4 billion last week.