Aug 17, 2020 - Health

Sanofi buys Principia Biopharma in 2020's second-largest pharma merger

A receipt that looks like a medical IV.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sanofi agreed to buy Principia Biopharma, a South San Francisco-based developer of drugs for multiple sclerosis and pemphigus, for around $3.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: It's the year's second-largest pharma merger so far, and is part of the same cash-reliant, bolt-on playbook that CEO Paul Hudson employed while helming Novartis' drugs division.

  • Sanofi will pay $100 per Principia share, which represents a 10% premium to Friday’s closing price. It plans to complete the deal by year-end.

The bottom line: "The deal shows how drug companies like Sanofi need to keep hunting for new drivers of growth even as they race to find vaccines and therapies to try to defeat COVID-19," reports Bloomberg.

Go deeper