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Natural Killer (NK) Cell-based Immunotherapy Firm Kiadis Reaches Buyout Agreement With Sanofi (SNY)- Who’s Next?

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.
Recently, natural killer (NK) cell-based immunotherapy has emerged as a promising therapeutic approach for solid tumors and hematological malignancies. NK cells are innate lymphocytes with an array of functional competences, including anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-graft-vs. -host disease potential.

Today, Paris-based Sanofi (SNY), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health, announced that has offered to buyout Netherlands-based biotechnology company Kiadis (KDS.AS) for $308M euros or US$358.4M to bolster its offering of immunotherapy products. Sanofi will offer $5.45 euros in cash a premium of 272% to Kiadis’ closing share price on Oct. 30. Shares of Kiadis are trading at $5.11,+249.39%.

Kiadis’ proprietary platform is based on allogeneic or ‘off-the-shelf’ NK-cells from a healthy donor. NK-cells seek and identify malignant cancer cells and have broad application across various tumor types. The platform has the potential to make products rapidly and economically available for a broad patient population across a wide range of indications. Kiadis’ NK cell-based medicines will be developed alone and in combination with Sanofi’s existing platforms.

Sanofi’s research, development, manufacturing and commercial expertise will be leveraged to advance Kiadis’ pipeline, which includes NK-cell-based medicines for the treatment of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant, liquid and solid tumors, as well as infectious disease.

Transaction Highlights Offered By Kiadis

  • Kiadis and Sanofi have reached conditional agreement on a recommended all-cash public offer (the “Offer”) by Sanofi for Kiadis of EUR 5.45 in cash (cum dividend) (the “Offer Price”) for each issued and outstanding ordinary share in the capital of Kiadis (the “Shares”) representing an aggregate adjusted equity value of EUR 308 million1
  • The Offer Price represents a premium of 272% over the closing price on 30 October 2020, a premium of approximately 247% over the 30 trading days VWAP and a premium of approximately 200% over the 90 trading days VWAP
  • Kiadis’ proprietary next generation NK-cell technology platform and pipeline complements Sanofi’s existing therapeutic expertise
  • Sanofi’s infrastructure and capabilities will be leveraged to advance the development of Kiadis’ pipeline
  • Kiadis’ Boards unanimously support and recommend the Offer and believe the Offer is a fair reflection of the Kiadis’ potential, given the risk/reward typical to a biotech company and the capital required to execute its business plan; additionally they believe that the Transaction is in the best interests of Kiadis, the sustainable success of its business, its shareholders, patients, employees, business partners and other stakeholders
  • Funds managed by Life Sciences Partners have irrevocably committed to Sanofi to support the Offer and tender their 18.3% shareholding in the Offer
  • The Offer is subject to certain customary conditions, including obtaining required competition clearance, and is expected to complete in the first half of 2021

Other NK-Cell platforms to Watch

Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), Nkarta, Inc. (NASDAQ: NKTX), & Cytovia Therapeutics (private company) website: www.cytoviatx.com. Cytovia and its scientific partners aim to design the next generation of CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptor) NK Cell Therapy products by selecting appropriate target antigens and applying synthetic biology/gene editing tools to increase the precision and persistence of NK cells, thereby improving their clinical efficacy and safety. The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) is an artificially modified fusion protein that consists of an extracellular antigen recognition domain fused to an intracellular signaling domain. NK cells genetically modified with a CAR have demonstrated initial clinical success in the treatment of hematological cancers. CAR NK Cell Therapy has the same potent effector machinery as T-cell Therapy but does not cause Graft Vs Host Disease (GVHD) or Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) (observed with T-cell and CAR T-cell therapy).  Allogeneic CAR NK are safe off the shelf products and can potentially be administered in an out patient setting. Cytovia’s focus is on differentiation and expansion of NK cells from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and Gene Editing to optimize CAR design. (Learn More)

“Precision NK therapies have the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment with unsurpassed safety and efficacy. We are excited to bring NK Cell Engager antibodies and CAR-NK cell therapies to initial clinical trials starting in 2021, moving towards broad patient access to cancer-defeating cures.” – Dr. Daniel Teper, Cytovia Therapeutics CEO
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(Read Original Story: Sanofi offers to acquire Kiadis for €308 million in Kiadis Pharma N.V.)


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