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Under pressure to appease investors, Sanofi (SNY) has twice in the past week agreed to pay hefty amounts of money to buy a pair of companies that specialize in treating blood disorders. In doing so, the drug maker is scrambling to remake itself as its key diabetes franchise struggles under pricing pressure.

The latest deal involves paying more than $4.8 billion for Ablynx (ABLYF), which is researching rare blood disorders and developing novel drugs based on so-called nanobodies that are found in the immune systems of llamas and alpacas. Just last week, the drug maker paid agreed to pay $11.6 billion for Bioverativ (BIVV) — and a pair of hemophilia treatments — that was spun off by Biogen (BIIB).


These are expensive moves, but are designed to quickly bolster the Sanofi portfolio of treatments targeting rare blood afflictions. They also follow spectacular failures in 2016 to successfully bid for Medivation and Actelion Pharmaceuticals, which would have provided Sanofi with treatments for fast-growing markets — cancer and rare diseases, respectively.

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