Principia Biopharma Soars as Sanofi Is Said to Seek Deals

Sanofi is reportedly looking at potential acquisitions of U.S. biotechs. Principia Biopharma shares jumped on the report.
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Principia Biopharma  (PRNB) - Get Report shares soared Thursday following a report that the company is a potential acquisition target of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi  (SNY) - Get Report

Shares of Principia Biopharma at last check were up 14% to $84.79, while Sanofi was off 0.8% to $52.86.

Sanofi is looking at potential acquisitions of U.S. biotechnology companies including Principia Biopharma, as it looks for innovative treatments for clinical areas including multiple sclerosis and immune disorders, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sanofi is working with advisers to study potential deals, Bloomberg said. Chief Executive Paul Hudson, who joined last year, is seeking to rejuvenate Sanofi by focusing on fast-growing areas where new medicines command high prices. 

There’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, Bloomberg reported.

Sanofi already has a partnership with Principia Biopharma to develop a treatment for central nervous system diseases.

Principia Biopharma rallied in February after the experimental medicine in a mid-stage study and Sanofi’s CEO said it could grab half the $20 billion market for MS drugs.

Principia Biopharma is developing a therapy called rilzabrutinib to treat immune-system conditions, according to its website.

Neither Sanofi nor Principia responded immediately to a request for comment.

In May, Sanofi said it was selling its stake in Regeneron  (REGN) - Get Report, whose stock price has ballooned in value in recent months as investors have bet that its efforts to produce a vaccine to treat coronavirus will prove successful.

Last month, Sanofi and Translate Bio  (TBIO) - Get Report of Lexington, Mass., agreed to make vaccines against the coronavirus together, widening their cooperation.