Sanofi to Acquire Austrian Biotech Firm “Origimm Biotechnology”

French healthcare company Sanofi said on Wednesday it would buy Austrian conglomerate Origimm Biotechnology, a move that would add a potential first-in-class vaccine candidate for the treatment of acne to its pipeline. 

In a separate statement, Sanofi, which has not yet put a COVID-19 vaccine on the market, said it reported mid- to high single-digit growth for its vaccines business, confirmed by mid-term sales. resulted from. 

Sanofi said it expects the Origimm deal to close this month without disclosing any financial details.

Thomas Triumph, executive vice president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur, said, “The acquisition of Origimm further broadens our vaccine research and development pipeline, with the first vaccine candidate against acne, a high medical need for millions of adolescents and adults. “

In September, Sanofi abandoned its plan for its own mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine because of the dominance achieved by BioNTech-Pfizer, and Moderna, in using the technology to fight the pandemic.

Instead the group will focus efforts on marketing another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on a more traditional protein-based approach from British partner GlaxoSmithKline, where large-scale trials are underway.

Earlier this year, Sanofi said it would buy two US biotechs, Kadmon Holdings and Translate Bio, for $1.9 billion and $3.2 billion, respectively.

The latter purchase has allowed Sanofi to gain some important insights into mRNA technology, which the group hopes to use in most of its vaccine-candidates.

“Six out of 10 new vaccine candidates entering clinics by 2025 will use mRNA technologies to target the high unmet needs and burden of diseases such as chlamydia and acne,” the company said.

The group, which raised it’s 2021 profit guidance in October, is under pressure to revive its drug pipeline and is also keen to address the setbacks in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sanofi shares are up 6.6% since the start of the year, following a 16.3% gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 health care index.