French pharmaceutical company Sanofi has agreed to acquire Inhibrx, a US-based biopharmaceutical company focused on novel biologic therapeutics, for up to $2.2bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, Inhibrx shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, a CVR that can be exchanged for $5, plus 0.25 shares in New Inhibrx.

New Inhibrx is a new publicly traded company that will retain all the assets of Inhibrx, except its recombinant alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) augmentation therapy, INBRX-101.

Sanofi, through its subsidiary Aventis, will acquire INBRX-101, which is currently in a registrational trial for the treatment of patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD).

All the non-101 assets, including INBRX-105, INBRX-106, INBRX-109, the non-101 discovery pipeline and its infrastructure, will be separated into a new company, Inhibrx Biosciences.

Sanofi will assume Inhibrx’s outstanding third-party debt and capitalise New Inhibrx with $200m in cash, retaining 8% equity interest, while Inhibrx shareholders will own 92% of New Inhibrx.

The boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved the transaction.

The transaction is expected to be closed in the second quarter of 2024, subject to the completion of the New Inhibrx spin-off and other customary closing conditions.

Upon closing, New Inhibrx will continue to operate under the Inhibrx name, led by its current chairman and CEO Mark Lappe, along with other members of the current management team.

New Inhibrx will continue to own Inhibrx’s non-101 clinical therapeutic candidates, along with its discovery pipeline and certain corporate infrastructure owned by Inhibrx.

Centerview Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Inhibrx and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison are serving as legal counsel.

Lazard served as exclusive financial advisor and Weil, and Gotshal & and Manges as legal counsel to Sanofi on the transaction.

In December last year, Sanofi and Exscientia expanded their current collaboration with a discovery stage programme identified and initially advanced by Exscientia.