Under a strategic partnership to expand its offerings for Multiple Sclerosis, Sanofi has struck a deal to acquire Principia Biopharma, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing novel therapies and therapeutics for immune-related disorders. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi shall acquire all the outstanding shares of Principia Biopharma Inc., valued at USD 100 per share in cash, which represents an aggregate equity value of approximately USD 3.68 Billion.
With this acquisition, Sanofi will receive an exclusive global license and complete ownership for Principia Biopharma’s lead candidate, SAR442168, a Bruton Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor, currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials to determining its efficacy in delaying disability progression due to Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (NCT04458051). It is a randomized, double-blinded trial (PERSEUS) with 990 patients segregated into control and experimental arms. While the control arm receives a film-coated oral placebo, the experimental cohort receives one dose of oral film-coated SAR442168 for six months. Phase IIb results showed a significant reduction (nearly 85%) in Gd-enhancing T1 hypertension lesions compared to placebo.
As mentioned in the press release by Sanofi, acquisition of Principia Biopharma will bring in the company’s wholly-owned portfolio of BTK inhibitor to enhance Sanofi’s offerings in therapies targeting autoimmune disorders. As part of the acquisition, Principia’s owned BTK inhibitor rilzabrutinib, currently targeted towards two autoimmune diseases, namely pemphigus and immune thrombocytopenia, will also be assessed to treat other inflammatory and immunological conditions, thereby strengthening and complementing Sanofi’s existing R&D pipeline. Principia’s BTK inhibitor franchise is based on its proprietary Tailored Covalency platform that allows a more selective, optimized, and targeted delivery of both reversible and irreversible small molecules that can block or disrupt the signaling pathway, thereby reducing inflammation and tissue destruction caused in autoimmune diseases.
This acquisition allows the expansion of existing collaboration and grants Sanofi the exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize SAR442168 for the management of Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological diseases.