Sanofi has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the entire share capital of Kiadis Pharma in a deal valued at approximately €308m ($359m).
Under the agreement, Sanofi will offer €5.45 per share to Kiadis Pharma, a clinical-stage company developing cell-based immunotherapy products.
The acquisition will give Sanofi full control of next-generation natural killer (K-NK) cell platform and pipeline of cell-based cancer immune-therapeutics and infectious disease treatments.
The K-NK cell platform derives from allogeneic or ‘off-the-shelf’ NK cells from a healthy donor and these cells hunt for malignant cancer cells.
It can potentially make products rapidly and economically available for a broad range of indications.
Under the deal, Kiadis will develop NK cell-based medicines alone or with Sanofi’s existing platforms.
Furthermore, the research, development and commercial expertise of Sanofi will be leveraged to advance Kiadis’ pipeline that includes NK cell-based medicines.
Sanofi Research & Development global head John Reed said: “We believe the Kiadis ‘off the shelf’ K-NK cell technology platform will have broad application against liquid and solid tumours, and create synergies with Sanofi’s emerging immuno-oncology pipeline, providing opportunities for us to pursue potential best-in-disease approaches.”
On completion of the public offer, Sanofi will provide the resources and capabilities needed for boosting the development of Kiadis’ programmes.
Kiadis’ pipeline of NK cell therapies includes K-NK002, K-NK003 and KNK-ID-101.
KNK-ID-101 is a programme analysing the properties of K-NK cells and their suitability to fight SARS-CoV-2. It will also analyse whether the cells can be used as a post-exposure pre-emptive therapy for Covid-19 in high-risk patients.
The company anticipates initiating a Phase I / IIa trial evaluating the use of K-NK cells to treat covid-19 patients with government grant funding.
In July, the company licensed Kiadis’ pre-clinical K-NK004 programme for potential combination for multiple myeloma.
Big Pharma has long seen the potential for AI and machine learning to accelerate drug development. But Novo Nordisk is going a step further by channeling $200 million toward the creation of a computer that will outrun anything in existence.
Current methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease rely on a complex combination of self- and caregiver-reported symptoms, a physical examination and either a PET scan or a spinal tap to look for evidence of amyloid plaque build-ups in the brain. But a new artificial intelligence-based method may make the diagnostic process a much more objective one.
There is lots of talk about diversity and inclusion in business, including in pharma and medtech. A new report by the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), a think tank focusing on migration and diversity, released its “Minority Businesses Matter: Europe” report highlighting the successes and challenges of ethnic minority-owned businesses in Europe.