Sanofi sees pipeline fruition in 2018

pharmafile | December 13, 2017 | News story | Research and Development Sanofi, biotech, drugs, pharma, pharmaceutical 

In news that Sanofi will no doubt be hoping should divert attention away from the Dengvaxia scandal, the company revealed that it expects to take a number of projects to Phase 3 and to file for regulatory approval in 2018.

2017 has been a year to forget for the company; it has failed to secure the major acquisitions that have been called for to bolster its pipeline and its blockbuster product for basal insulin, Lantus, has been heavily hit by generics.

The presentation of its R&D strategy and pipeline was an attempt to put the year behind them and to reassure investors that the company has a strong pipeline to call on.

It reminded investors that its pipeline contains 71 potential drug candidates, with at least of 10 of these expected to reach Phase 3 studies over the next 12 months.

There are also nine planned regulatory submissions to come over the next 18 months.

“We have seen significant advancement on our ambition to sustain innovation in R&D, with the development of leading technology platforms and proof of concept demonstrated in multiple high-potential projects in late stage trials. We are confident this portfolio will be the foundation for Sanofi’s future long-term growth,” said Olivier Brandicourt, Chief Executive Officer at Sanofi.

Sanofi did receive a recent boost for its diabetes portfolio, with the European approval of its biosimilar to Eli Lilly’s Humalog, in the form of Ademelog. The approval should see it claw back some sales, but the increasingly competitive market place is seeing pricing pressures impact all players, particularly in the US.

If the aim of the announcement was to shore up faith in Sanofi’s own pipeline to tide over the difficulties it is facing then investors were clearly not overly impressed; the company’s share price reacted with a slight dip on the announcement, dropping by 0.56%.

It may not be enough to distract investors but, for the moment, it may shift the focus away from the continuing investigation into the Dengvaxia rollout in countries like the Philippines and Brazil.

Another report, released today, showed that the trials used to promote the vaccine’s use had shown that after the third year there was an increase in young children going to hospital with a severe case of dengue. However, investigators were unsure as to whether this was due to the age of recipients or whether it was a case of the children being dengue-naïve.

This question mark could have been cleared up by the taking of blood tests before and after vaccination; however, investigators have suggested that it wasn’t immediately clear that this would be necessary before trials began.

Ben Hargreaves

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