Sanofi’s Provention buy could get other partners’ hopes up

So much for getting out of diabetes. After an uncharacteristically quiet 2022 for M&A, Sanofi today bought Provention Bio and its diabetes delaying product Tzield for $2.9bn. The deal treads familiar ground for Sanofi in another way: the French company struck a deal with Provention in October giving it right of first negotiation. A look at Sanofi’s recent buyouts show this pattern of trying before buying playing out several times, something that could raise hopes for the group’s other partners – especially as Sanofi has cash to spend, having missed out to Amgen on acquiring Horizon last year. As for Provention, this seems a fairly low-risk bet for Sanofi after several recent buyout blow-ups, with Tzield approved last November following a tortuous development history. But despite blockbuster sales forecasts there are questions about how big the product could become given its current need to identify people at risk of developing type 1 diabetes. A bigger use could be coming, with data from the Protect trial in newly diagnosed type 1 patients due in the second half. The 273% premium for Provention also raises the possibility of a competitive bidding process, though Sanofi has overpaid in the past.

Try before you buy? Sanofi's acquisitions in the past 5 years
Target  Sector Value Date announced Note
Provention Bio Diabetes $2.9bn Mar 2023 Sanofi & Provention signed teplizumab (now branded as Tzield) co-promotion deal in Oct 2022 (plus rights of first negotiation)
Origimm Dermatology Undisclosed Dec 2021  
Amunix Immuno-oncology $1bn upfront & $225m milestones Dec 2021 Previously partnered on masking tech via Bioverativ
Kadmon Transplantation $1.9bn Sep 2021  
Translate Bio mRNA vaccines & therapeutics $3.2bn Aug 2021 Partnered on infectious diseases vaccines in 2018
Tidal Therapeutics mRNA to reprogramme immune cells $160m up front & $310m milestones Apr 2021  
Kymab Autoimmune diseases $1.1bn up front & $350m milestones Jan 2021  
Kiadis Pharma NK cell therapy $358m Nov 2020 Sanofi licensed Kiadis project in Jul 2020
Principia Biopharma Autoimmune diseases $3.7bn Aug 2020 Sanofi licensed Principia project in 2017
Synthorx Immuno-oncology $2.5bn Dec 2019  
Ablynx Blood €3.9bn Jan 2018 Partnered on inflammatory diseases in 2017
Bioverativ Blood $11.6bn Jan 2018  
Source: Evaluate Pharma.

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