CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis will acquire U.S. biotech giant Genzyme for $20.1 billion, under an agreement the two companies announced Wednesday.
Sanofi has had its eyes on Genzyme since last July, when it offered $18.5 billion, or $69 per share, for the Cambridge, Mass.-based company, but Genzyme initially dismissed Sanofi’s offer as too low. Under the new $74-per-share agreement, Genzyme shareholders will be eligible for additional milestone payments related to the multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), or milestone payments related to 2011 production volumes for the Fabry disease drug Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) and the Gaucher disease drug Cerezyme (imiglucerase).
Sanofi said it plans to make Genzyme its “global center for excellence” in rare diseases. Genzyme has long specialized in treatments for rare, inherited disorders, such as Fabry disease, Gaucher disease and Pompe disease.
Sanofi’s July announcement came not long after Genzyme agreed to pay $175 million to the federal government to address manufacturing problems the Food and Drug Administration found at one of its manufacturing plants in 2009. Those problems led to contamination of supplies of its drugs and nationwide shortages of Fabrazyme and Cerezyme.