Sanofi drops Maze deal amidst FTC allegations

Dec. 12, 2023

Sanofi is backing out of its Maze Therapeutics licensing deal, after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to block the acquisition valued at $755 million.

Earlier this week, the FTC announced its decision to seek a preliminary injunction against Sanofi's proposed licensing agreement with Maze Therapeutics for MZE001, a phase 1 glycogen synthase 1 inhibitor for Pompe Disease. 

The move comes as the FTC argued that the acquisition would eliminate a potential competitor, jeopardizing Sanofi's monopoly in the Pompe disease therapy market. Sanofi is currently the sole supplier of FDA-approved drugs for Pompe disease, a severe genetic disorder. The FTC claimed that Maze's MZE001 would challenge Sanofi's monopoly by offering the first oral medication for Pompe disease patients.

The FTC’s complaint alleged that Sanofi identified MZE001 as a significant threat to its Pompe monopoly shortly after Maze publicly disclosed its development plans in 2021. The proposed acquisition, announced back in May, was seen as an attempt to extend Sanofi’s monopoly and stifle innovation in developing new Pompe drugs.

The complaint, which also involved Sanofi subsidiary Genzyme Corporation seeking the drug license, asserted that the transaction would safeguard Sanofi's monopoly, stifling competition between the two companies and depriving patients and doctors of the benefits of competition, including lower prices and increased innovation.

Despite disagreeing with the FTC's claims, Sanofi opted to terminate the agreement due to the prolonged litigation, concluding it was not in the best interests of patients.