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Sanofi has 65 new compounds in development, says R&D chief

Elias Zerhouni to showcase pharma company's pipeline, promises costs will be rigorously managed

Sanofi reception 

Sanofi will showcase its R&D pipeline to financial analysts in the US later today, and says it now has 65 new compounds in development with 17 in either phase III testing or filed for approval.

Documents released ahead of the presentation at the JP Morgan conference in San Francisco highlight several developments in the portfolio, including recommendations for approval in Europe for Lyxumia (lixisenatide) for diabetes and colorectal cancer drug Zaltrap (aflibercept).

The next few months should also see the EU's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) deliver opinions on Aubagio (teriflunomide) and Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) for multiple sclerosis and paediatric hexavalent vaccine (DTP-Hep B-Polio-Hib), as well as a filing in the EU for Sanofi's quadrivalent flu vaccine Vaxigrip QIV.

In the US, Sanofi is waiting for an FDA decision on Kynamro (mipomersen sodium) for homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia after the drug was turned down by the CHMP last month, as well as a verdict on its quadrivalent flu vaccine which will be sold in the US as Fluzone QIV.

The pharma company also says it has started a phase III trial of its anti-PCSK9 antibody SAR236553 in 18,000 acute coronary syndrome patients, adding to 10 other late-stage studies of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-lowering agent, while a vaccine against Clostridium difficile infections will enter phase III testing in the third quarter. 

Asthma and atopic dermatitis vaccine SAR231893 has passed the proof-of-concept stage and will start phase IIb testing later this year, according to the firm.

Meanwhile, phase III results are due on a clutch of new products in the next six months, including Gaucher disease candidate eliglustat, anticoagulant otamixaban, SAR302503 for myelofibrosis and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) hopeful iniparib, as well as an improved formulation of its Lantus (insulin glargine) blockbuster designed to fend off an emerging rival from Novo Nordisk.

On the downside, Sanofi says has discontinued development of ombrabulin in ovarian cancer and SAR245408 in endometrial cancer after disappointing trial results. 

Sanofi's R&D chief Dr Elias Zerhouni said the company has "the ingredients to ensure R&D contributes to Sanofi's goal of sustainable growth in the coming years while rigorously managing R&D costs".

Rolaids bought from J&J

Sanofi also announced this week that its US consumer health division Chattem has acquired the Rolaids antacid brand from McNeil, part of Johnson & Johnson. The first Rolaids product was introduced in the 1950s but it is one of the brands affected by McNeil's manufacturing problems and has been off the market since 2010.

Chattem will re-launch Rolaids within a year, said Sanofi. The division's chief executive Zan Guerry described the deal as "a rare opportunity to obtain an iconic brand".

8th January 2013

From: Research, Sales

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