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Sanofi is set to acquire biotech giant Bioverativ for $11.6bn

haematology (Getty Images)

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi is set to acquire biotech giant Bioverativ for $11.6 billion in a bid to strengthen its leadership in rare diseases and become a main player in the haemophilia market. It will also see it become a strong competitor against Roche, who is dominating both diabetes and haematology markets.

 The agreement will see Sanofi acquire all outstanding shares at $105 per share, a decision approved by all Boards of Directors at both companies. It will also prove advantageous for Sanofi’s shareholders, where the number of developing products will further Sanofi’s financial capabilities.

"Sanofi is strengthening its presence in specialty medicine and its leadership in rare diseases, in line with its 2020 Roadmap, and is putting in place a platform that will enable it to ensure growth in other rare haematological disorders,” commented Sanofi's Chief Executive Officer Olivier Brandicourt.

“Together, we now have the extraordinary opportunity to bring innovative medicines to patients around the world, building on Bioverativ's success in driving new standards of care through its extended half-life factor replacement therapies.

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"Together, we will continue to leverage our scientific expertise, disciplined execution and development expertise that best position us to create value for our shareholders and develop innovative patient treatments."

With annual sales of approximately $10 billion and 181,000 haemophiliacs worldwide, haemophilia has become the largest market in the Rare Diseases segment and is expected to grow by more than 7% annually. In 2016, Bioverativ generated $847 million in sales and $41 million in royalties.

One of the priorities of Sanofi's Roadmap 2020 has seen the company "refocus its business areas" and focus on those in which the company is or is in a position to lead. The acquisition of Bioverativ therefore meets this priority, and will see the business gain access to a growth platform for rare haematological diseases.

"Sanofi brings proven capabilities and a global infrastructure that we believe will help expand access to our medicines globally faster and continue our mission of improving the lives of people with rare hematologic diseases,” added John Cox, CEO of Bioverativ.