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Sanofi plans 18 new product launches by 2020

Keen to reinstall faith of investors after firing CEO Viehbacher

Sanofi reception 

Sanofi has moved swiftly to reassure investors in the wake of firing chief executive Chris Viehbacher, saying it intends to launch up to 18 new products by 2020.

The company - which Viehbacher confessed earlier this year had been light on product launches of late - says the new products have the potential to bring in more than €30bn during the first five years of sales.

"These potential launches affirm Sanofi's strategy, which has been in place since 2008," said acting CEO and chairman Serge Weinberg in a trading update, insisting they demonstrate the "strong momentum" in the company's pipeline.

The strategy was set up under Viehbacher's watch but was not a factor in his dismissal, with Weinberg telling investors late last month that the decision related to problems with management style and execution.

Sanofi is holding a seminar on its new medicines at the headquarters of its Genzyme subsidiary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, later today, that will focus on nine new medicines and vaccines including six that could debut in 2015, according to Elias Zerhouni, the group's head of global R&D.

These include cholesterol-lowering antibody alirocumab (now given the proposed trade name of Praluent) - fresh from encouraging new data presented at the American Heart Association meeting - as well a vaccine against dengue fever and anti-inflammatory drug dupilumab, which has just been awarded breakthrough status by the FDA for atopic dermatitis and is also being developed for severe asthma.

Sanofi's big-selling diabetes franchise has been under pressure, with slowing sales thanks to pricing pressure and emerging biosimilar competition to $7bn-a-year basal insulin Lantus (insulin glargine, so the company will be keen to outline the potential of new products at the meeting.

These include long-acting Lantus follow-up Toujeo (insulin glargine), rapid-acting insulin Afrezza and Lixilan, a combination of insulin glargine and recently-introduced GLP-1 agonist Lyxumia (lixisenatide.  Sanofi expects its global diabetes sales to be "flat to slightly growing" between 2015 and 2018, although this depends upon a "substantial conversion" of patients from Lantus to Toujeo in the US and Europe.

The remainder of its growth portfolio are Cerdelga (eliglustat) for Gaucher disease - the only approved oral, first-line therapy for the rare genetic disease, Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) for multiple sclerosis and sarilumab, an antibody for arthritis in phase III trials.

"Sanofi's global R&D teams have created an impressive dynamic that leverages internal talents and open innovation to develop an industry-leading pipeline," said Zerhouni in the trading update.

Article by
Phil Taylor

20th November 2014

From: Sales

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