France’s Sanofi to sell stake in US$13 bil biotech firm

PARIS: French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi on Monday said it planned to divest its stake in US biotech firm Regeneron which is valued at around US$13 billion.

Sanofi, which holds around 20.6% in Regeneron, however insisted it had no intention of halting its partnership with the American firm.

The sale will see a repurchase by Regeneron of US$5 billion of its stock from Sanofi, the French company said in a statement.

“Sanofi remains committed to continuing our collaboration with Regeneron which remains an integral part of our overall strategy, and this decision was fully aligned with Regeneron,” said Paul Hudson, the chief executive officer of Sanofi.

He said the proceeds from the transaction would be used to further expand Sanofi.

“We believe the proceeds from this transaction will help further our ability to execute on our strategy to drive innovation and growth,” he said.

According to Sanofi, the companies have had a successful and long-standing clinical and commercial collaboration dating back to 2003 “that has resulted in five approved treatments to date with additional candidates currently in clinical development”.

Hudson earlier this month caused a stir when he said that Americans would have priority to any coronavirus vaccine developed by Sanofi.

The company was swiftly rapped by the French government over the comments.