LA JOLLA – Torrey Pines clinical-stage cancer treatment development company Inhibrx (Nasdaq: INBX) is being purchased by French biopharma giant Sanofi (Nasdaq: SNY) for a staggering $2.2 billion in a deal that grants Sanofi rights to one of Inhibrx’s most promising drugs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will acquire all assets and liabilities for INBRX-101, Inhibrx’s drug candidate targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), an inherited disorder that can predispose individuals to myriad health conditions, including lung and liver disease.
According to Sanofi, INBRX-101 has successfully completed a Phase 1 trial with positive results, with enrollment in a Phase 2 clinical trial underway.
“The addition of INBRX-101 as a high potential asset to our rare disease portfolio reinforces our strategy to commit to differentiated and potential best-in-class products,” wrote Sanofi Head of Research and Development’s Houman Ashrafian.
“With our expertise in rare diseases and growing presence in immune-mediated respiratory conditions, INBRX-101 will complement our approach to deploy R&D efforts in key areas of focus and address the needs of the underserved AATD patients and communities.”
Inhibrx declined to comment on the acquisition. Its enterprise value now sits at $1.65 billion. The company’s 2023 Q3 earnings report revealed $337.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, $47.3 million in common stock outstanding and $61.2 million fully diluted outstanding.
Its pipeline of other drug candidates and its corporate infrastructure will be spun out into a new publicly traded company, Inhibrx Biosciences, which will continue operating under the Inhibrx name with founder Mark Lappe staying onboard as Chairman and CEO. Sanofi plans to finance the spinout with $200 million in cash and retain 8% equity.
Under the deal terms, Sanofi will also take on Inhibrx’s outstanding debt by buying its stock for $30 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $1.7 billion, contingent upon achieving certain regulatory milestones.
Torrey Pines-based Inhibrx completed its IPO in 2020 with $125.7 million to push its disease-fighting drugs forward. The company uses diverse methods of protein engineering to address the specific requirements of complex target and disease biology, including its proprietary platform called sdAb.
The acquisition by Sanofi is expected to close in Q2 of 2024.
The Sanofi deal marks another major recent multi-billion-dollar biotech deal in the San Diego startup scene, following January’s $2 billion acquisition of Ambrx Biopharma by Johnson & Johnson and December’s $4.1 billion acquisition of RayzeBio by Bristol Myers Squibb.
FOUNDER & CEO: Mark Lappe
HEADQUARTERS: Torrey Pines
ENTERPRISE VALUE: $1.65B
NOTABLE: In 2023, Inhibrx partnered with NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes to develop novel radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer.