A radical new cancer drug is behind the $500 million (£335 million) purchase of California-based BiPar Sciences by Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis.
Known as BSI-201, the BiPara treatment is a PARP (poly ADP-ribose polymerase) inhibitor that targets molecular processes critical for the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.
It is currently being evaluated in phase 2 clinical trials in triple negative breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other solid-tumour cancers.
The Sanofi deal is the latest in a string of worldwide acquisitions by the company, including generic-drug-maker Medley, Brazil’s third-largest pharmaceutical company, and Laboratorios Kendrick, a Mexican generic drug maker.
The driver behind those two deals is a major US boost in the sale of generic drugs, which cost 30% to 80% less than the original brand-names, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.
As the global recession has deepened, the number of prescriptions for generic drugs has jumped by 8%, now accounting for 68% of all prescriptions in the US.
Copyright Press Association 2009