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Sanofi Chief Signals Focus on Cancer With $2.5 Billion Deal

Sanofi SA has agreed to buy cancer biotech company Synthorx Inc. for $2.5 billion, the first big move by new Chief Executive Paul Hudson to reinvigorate the sprawling French health care giant.

The company has a long history in cancer-drug development but has fallen behind in the latest rush to develop immunotherapies, or drugs that help the immune system fight tumors. Its acquisition of Synthorx is a bet that it can make up that ground.