PARIS (Reuters) – French drugmaker and healthcare group Sanofi is to buy privately-held U.S vaccines biotech company Protein Sciences for an initial amount of $650 million, as Sanofi steps up its acquisition program after recently missing two large deals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will make an upfront payment of $650 million for Protein Sciences, and pay up to $100 million upon the achievement of certain milestones.

“The acquisition of Protein Sciences will allow us to broaden our flu portfolio with the addition of a non-egg based vaccine,” said David Loew, Sanofi executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, the company’s vaccines arm. 

Sanofi missed out to Johnson & Johnson on buying Switzerland’s biotech Actelion in January – a $30 billion deal – and was also beaten in August last year by a $14 billion bid for cancer specialist Medivation from Pfizer.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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