Sanofi has announced its intent to buy US group Principia Biopharma, a late-stage group focused on developing treatments for immune-mediated diseases.

Under the deal,  which has been unanimously approved by both parties, the French drug giant will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Principia for $100 per share in cash, representing an aggregate equity value of around $3.68 billion.

“This acquisition advances our ongoing R&D transformation to accelerate development of the most promising medicines that will address significant patient needs,” said Sanofi's chief executive Paul Hudson.

“The addition of multiple BTK inhibitors to our pipeline demonstrates our commitment to strategic product acquisitions in our priority therapeutic areas. Full ownership of our brain-penetrant BTK inhibitor ‘168 removes complexities for this priority development program and simplifies future commercialisation.”

“Principia’s successful design and development of a whole portfolio of BTK inhibitors for immunology is aimed to transform the treatment for patients with immune-mediated diseases. By combining with Sanofi, we will bring significant resources to expand and accelerate the potential benefits of these therapies.

“The benefit of developing several BTK inhibitors will allow us to target specific organ systems for optimal patient benefit. The merger will provide global resources to get these novel therapies to patients faster,” added Martin Babler, president and chief executive at Principia Biopharma.