UK in spotlight at JP Morgan Healthcare conference 2021 with the largest acquisition of a privately listed UK biotech company on record

The largest acquisition of a private UK biotech company on record has been announced today, as the curtain raiser to the JP Morgan global Healthcare conference,  with the news that Sanofi has acquired Kymab for $1.1bn with the possibility of further $350m milestone payments.

Cambridge UK-based Kymab is a developer of fully human monoclonal antibodies with a focus on immune-mediated diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics. Investors in the company expecting to benefit from the deal include the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Steve Bates OBE Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA) said: “This deal is testament to the strength of the UK biotech sector and shows the value of the exciting pipeline of innovative treatments that UK companies are developing. Sanofi’s agreement with Kymab shareholders represents the largest acquisition of a privately listed UK biotech company on record.

“Through this deal Sanofi have also gained a significant capability and footprint in the UK life science innovation ecosystem, and a key asset covered by the UK Patent Box regime.  Our new sector data published today shows that more and more investors are realising the incredible potential of investing in UK life science companies, and this deal demonstrates the returns that can make from pre-revenue UK biotech investment.”

Commenting on the UK presence at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, Steve said:

“The UK is in the global spotlight at JP Morgan this year - with this deal coming hot on the heels of the success of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine development, approval and rollout. Through 2020, the UK has proved itself to be a key global location for drug and vaccine development, flexible manufacturing, clinical trials, innovative regulation, next generation diagnostics and genomic understanding. The sector will be using this week to tell this great story to global investors, demonstrating the value of investing in UK life science companies to ensure life-changing treatments can be delivered to patients sooner.”

The news about Kymab comes as new data is published by the UK BioIndustry Association showing that global investors are flocking to invest in the UK biotech sector, with 24 US and 16 European finance houses investing in London-quoted biotech companies for the first time.

Notes to Editors

1. For more information please contact Jack Fellows, Communications and Media Manager on jfellows@bioindustry.org or 07825942934

2. Both Kymab and Sanofi are BIA member companies.

3. To read the analysis of UK quoted biotech investment, please follow this link.  

4. The analysis was performed by Radnor Capital Partners and commissioned by the UK BioIndustry Association

5. The index classifications and the constituents have been curated by Radnor, in partnership with the BIA, and are calculated and maintained via the FactSet custom index methodology on both an Unweighted basis and a Market Cap Weighted basis. Figures shown in this press release are of the Unweighted analysis.

6.The report does not provide investment advice or seek to promote any individual financial product