As reported by Robert Weisman in The Boston Globe, following a report that Burlington-based Flexion Therapeutics is negotiating a sale to French drug giant Sanofi, Flexion shares rose more than 33 percent. Spokeswomen for Sanofi and Flexion — which has a promising knee pain drug up before US regulators — declined to comment.
The purchase of Flexion by Sanofi, corporate parent of Cambridge-based Genzyme, would be Sanofi’s largest local acquisition since its $30.1 billion takeover of Genzyme in 2011. The report by FiercePharma, an industry news site, quoted unnamed sources as saying the Flexion deal could be worth more than $1 billion. It said Flexion’s board had approved a Sanofi offer, but final details were still being worked out.
In December Flexion applied for FDA approval of a steroid hormone injection to treat osteoarthritis in the knee. Unlike other treatments on the market, Flexion’s time-released medicine provides relief lasting several months. More than 14 million Americans were diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2015. Many receive steroid or hyaluronic acid injections in their knees, but relief typically lasts only about two to four weeks. Many patients eventually have knee replacements. (Source: Robert Weisman, The Boston Globe, 24 March, 2017)