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Snapdragon acquisition falls through

The proposed acquisition of US-based Snapdragon Chemistry by the Chinese CDMO Asymchem Laboratories has been abandoned. The two firms were unable to agree mitigation terms that would satisfy the US Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The $57.94 million deal was announced in February, Asymchem saying that this would significantly expand its footprint in the US, “offering customers a seamless path from preclinical process R&D through commercial cGMP manufacture”. In particular, it sought wider opportunities from continuous flow manufacturing.

The two companies initially begun collaborating in September 2020, when Asymchem announced a strategic investment in Snapdragon during a $8.5 million investment. This enabled Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-out Snapdragon to build a 4,700 m2 R&D and GMP manufacturing facility at its site in Waltham, Massachusetts, which has recently been commissioned.

CFIUS has authority to block direct foreign investment in US companies on national security grounds. It has stopped a growing number of deals from going through in recent years, including many by Chinese interests. The year 2021 saw a record number of refusals.

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