Also Thursday, Sarepta disclosed Sanofi (SNY - Get Report) executive Dr. Jean-Paul Kresse, a member of Sarepta's board of directors since 2015, decided not to stand for re-election due to time commitments and "a possible conflict of interest associated with his future endeavors."
The timing of these two departures could be coincidental and mean nothing, or they might signal Sanofi's interest in acquiring Sarepta.
There is no outward evidence a Sanofi-Sarepta deal is in the works. I'm going to repeat that sentence. There is no outward evidence a Sanofi-Sarepta deal is in the works.
But at the risk of pouring gasoline on a speculative fire, such a deal isn't far fetched. Sanofi's Genzyme unit specializes in developing and marketing drugs for rare, or orphan, diseases. Sarepta's approved medicine, Exondys 51, treats a certain type of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare, inherited disease.
Sanofi doesn't sell a DMD drug or have one in its research pipeline. Exondys 51 would slot in well at Sanofi, as would the rest of Sarepta's pipeline of experimental drugs to treat other forms of DMD.
Sanofi has been sending mixed messages to investors about its appetite for acquisitions. Earlier this week, Sanofi's top scientist told the Financial Times that controversies over U.S. drug-pricing policies and high company valuations have turned Sanofi more cautious on takeout deals.
But of course, Sanofi recently tried to acquire Medivation and Actelion, losing both deals to rival pharma companies. At an enterprise value of less than $1.5 billion, Sarepta is a cheaper buyout target for Sanofi.
Lastly, Sanofi's Genzyme unit is about to move into swanky, new headquarters space in Kendall Square, the biotech hub in Cambridge, Mass. Sarepta is located right around the corner.
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