On a spree, Sanofi scoops up TargeGen in $635M deal

Continuing its global deal-making spree, Sanofi-Aventis has forged a deal to buy San Diego-based TargeGen for $75 million down and up to $560 million in milestones based on the success of its small molecule kinase inhibitors for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases.

The deal gives Sanofi control over TargeGen's lead program, TG 101348, a JAK-2 inhibitor which has completed a multicenter clinical Phase I/II trial in patients with myelofibrosis. Myelofibrosis is characterized by a proliferation of an abnormal type of bone marrow stem cells. More trials are scheduled to get underway in the second half of this year.

"The acquisition of TargeGen represents a further significant step to increase our engagement in the field of hematological malignancies," declared Marc Cluzel, M.D., Sanofi's executive vice-president, research and development. "In addition, this acquisition is another example of our strong commitment to oncology to provide patients, physicians and public health stakeholders with breakthrough medicines addressing unmet medical needs."

Since Chris Viehbacher took the helm of Sanofi, the European drugmaker has engaged in a rapid-fire sequence of buyouts and licensing pacts. Analysts say that the pharma giant still has a long way to go before it stops wheeling and dealing.

- read the Sanofi release
- here's the story from Dow Jones