French pharma company Sanofi has announced its intention to acquire Kadmon Holdings in a bid to add to its transplant portfolio and grow its general medicines core assets.

Under the terms of the deal, Sanofi will acquire Kadmon for $9.50 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of around $1.9bn.

After closing the deal, Sanofi will immediately gain access to Kadmon’s chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) treatment Rezurock (belumosudil), which is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for patients aged 12 years and older who have failed at least two prior lines of systemic therapy.

It will join Sanofi’s other transplant medicines, consisting mainly of Thymoglobulin (anti-thymocyte globulin) and Mozobil (plerixafor).

“We are thrilled to add Kadmon's Rezurock to our well-established transplant portfolio. Our existing scale, expertise, and relationships in transplant create an ideal platform to achieve the full potential of Rezurock, which will address the significant unmet medical needs of patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease around the world,” said Olivier Charmeil, executive vice president, General Medicines at Sanofi.

Rezurock is the first and only small molecule inhibitor designed to inhibit the Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase 2 (ROCK2) signalling pathway that modulates inflammatory response and fibrotic processes.

Sanofi said in a statement that it plans to work with regulatory authorities across ‘different geographies’ to bring Rezurock to patients with cGVHD.

Elsewhere in its pipeline, Kadmon is developing drug candidates for the treatment of immune and fibrotic diseases as well as immuno-oncology therapies.

“We are excited that Sanofi has acknowledged the value of Rezurock and the deep potential of our pipeline,” said Harlan Waksal, president and chief executive officer, Kadmon.

“By leveraging Sanofi’s global resources and long-standing expertise in developing and commercialising innovative medicines, Rezurock is now well positioned for global accessibility, faster,” he added.