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S-A profits reach €2.49bn for Q2

Sanofi-aventis has reported a net income of €2.49bn for Q2 2010 – an increase of 7.6 per cent from 2009

Sanofi-aventis (S-A) has reported a net income of €2.49bn for Q2 2010 – an increase of 7.6 per cent from 2009.

The France-based pharmaceutical firm saw especially strong growth in its diabetes division, which contributed to a total net sales increase of 4.6 per cent to €7.78bn. Diabetes products accounted for €1.13bn of these sales. This was an increase of 16.9 per cent for the division compared to last year's second quarter performance.

Lantus (insulin glargine) was especially successful for the company, with sales totalling €926m. The biggest increase in revenue however was for Apidra (insulin glulisine), which saw growth of 25.7 per cent to €44m.

These strong performers helped counter falling sales in other divisions of the company, including chemotherapy medicine Eloxatin (oxaliplatin), for which sales fell 73.4 per cent for the quarter, and heart attack and stroke treatment Plavix (clopidogrel bisulphate) which saw a decrease of 23.6 per cent. Both drugs had recently lost patent protection and faced generic competition.

Commenting on the company's performance, Christopher A Viehbacher, CEO, S-A said: "I'm pleased with the Group's quarterly performance in an environment impacted by the US healthcare reform, price cuts in Europe and continued competition from generics. During this quarter, we also received US approval for Jevtana (cabazitaxel).

"Our objective to enhance innovation in R&D is on track, thanks to both internal transformations and numerous partnerships and acquisitions. While continuing to strengthen its growth platforms and maintaining a rigorous approach to cost control, the Group reiterates its 2013 objectives as announced in July 2009 despite the recent US approval of a generic of Lovenox (enoxaparin)."

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for a generic version of Lovenox jointly submitted by Sandoz and Momenta Pharmaceuticals. This was despite the objections of S-A, with the company involved in a battle to keep generic versions of the deep vein thrombosis treatment from winning approval that has lasted several years.

The company's end of quarter report contained no mention of its rumoured bid for US biotech Genzyme. Reports on July 27 had suggested that an informal offer by S-A had been rejected though more recent stories from New York Times, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal have said that S-A are preparing a formal bid of up to $18.7bn.

Neither S-A or Genzyme have commented on the suggestions.

29th July 2010

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