Sanofi Strengthens Diabetes Leadership with $2.9B Purchase of Provention

Sanofi, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, announced Monday that it has struck a deal to acquire diabetes leader Provention Bio for an impressive $2.9 billion. That’s a whopping $25 per share, a figure that’s sure to make investors in Provention Bio very happy.

Sanofi recently announced a major buyout of Provention’s diabetes delay drug, Tzield (teplizumab-mzwv), making it the first-ever disease-modifying treatment to delay the progression of stage 3 Type 1 diabetes (T1D). This groundbreaking decision by the FDA, made in November 2022, will grant Sanofi exclusive rights to the drug, providing hope for those living with the debilitating condition.

Tzield is an effective treatment option for adults and children 8 years and older, offering relief from a variety of conditions.

Provention’s stock sent investors into a frenzy on Monday, as it soared 262% in premarket trading. Meanwhile, Sanofi shares were barely affected, with the French company only seeing a slight 0.30% increase in its premarket trading.

“TZIELD presents a notable commercial opportunity in the delay onset indication, according to Olivier Charmeil, executive vice president of General Medicines at Sanofi. “We believe that this opportunity is meaningful,” he said in an email to BioSpace.

Sanofi and Provention are joining forces in a buyout set to close in the second quarter of 2023. Upon completion of the acquisition, a Sanofi subsidiary will merge with Provention, funded by Sanofi’s cash resources. This merger is anticipated to bring about major changes in the healthcare industry, revolutionizing the way patients access treatment.

Sanofi and Provention joined forces in October, a month before Tzield’s FDA approval, to launch a co-promotion deal to support the product. This agreement granted Sanofi an “exclusive right of first negotiation” to potentially in-license Tzield for a global reach, as revealed by a company spokesperson to BioSpace.

Tzield has been approved as a revolutionary new monoclonal antibody that targets the CD3 protein on T-cell subsets, providing a major breakthrough in the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Clinical studies have demonstrated that Tzield can reduce the risk of progression to stage 3 disease by almost 60%, offering a significant chance of long-term remission for those living with this debilitating condition.

Provention Bio is running the Phase III PROTECT trial, testing Tzield as a potential treatment for newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in kids and teens. Results from this pivotal study are anticipated to be available in the latter half of 2023, offering the potential to revolutionize the way T1D is managed in the pediatric population.

Complementary Expertise

Sanofi’s acquisition of Provention is an exciting opportunity to bring together their expertise in diabetes and their growing presence in immune-mediated disease and disease modifying therapies. It is a strategic move that could have a significant impact on addressing unmet needs in the healthcare space.

In 2019, Sanofi announced that it would be abandoning research in the diabetes therapeutic space in favor of more promising areas such as cancer, rare diseases and neurology. Despite this, its diabetes drugs Lantus and Toujeo still generated a whopping $2.4 billion and $1.2 billion in 2022, respectively. This shows the sheer success of Sanofi’s diabetes medications and the potential of the therapeutic space.

With mounting pressure from U.S. lawmakers, Sanofi is taking proactive action to stay ahead of the curve and remain a leader in diabetes treatments with their recent acquisition of Provention. This move not only positions Sanofi to be prepared for the impending drop in insulin prices, but also helps ensure the company’s diabetes drug revenues remain robust.

Provention Bio is set to be acquired in a major buyout, and its assets in development will be part of the deal. Of particular significance are PRV-3279, which is being evaluated for systemic lupus erythematosus and for the prevention of immunogenicity in gene therapies, and ordesekimab, which is being tested for celiac disease. This acquisition is a major step forward for Provention Bio and its efforts to create innovative treatments for autoimmune diseases.

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