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Sanofi sees double-digit growth driven by ‘megabrand’ Dupixent

With strong growth in specialty care, vaccines and consumer health seeing sales rise by 10% in the third quarter, Sanofi now expects earnings to grow by 14% in 2021

Strong growth from its new asthma/allergy antibody blockbuster Dupixent (dupilumab) sees Paris-based Sanofi reach double-digit sales growth in July to September.

Dupixent sales were €1.4bn in the third quarter, up by 54.6% from earlier in the year, driving Sanofi’s entire specialty care business to a 20% growth.

The company’s vaccine portfolio was also up by 16% to €2.4bn – driven by its flu shots – and its consumer health business saw an 11% rise in sales, although general medicine sales were down by nearly 2%.

Calling the results “outstanding”, CEO Paul Hudson announced that the company would review its outlook for the full year. “As a result of our sales performance and strong earnings, we have upgraded our full-year EPS guidance growth to around 14% at CER.” In the third quarter, Sanofi saw business EPS growth of 19.1% driven by sales performance and efficiencies.

The weight Sanofi is putting behind Dupixent seems to be paying off, with specialty care head, Bill Sibold, predicting annual sales of €6bn, although Hudson has a strategy to push the megabrand to peak sales of €10bn.

Dupixent’s growth is due to market dominance in atopic dermatitis, plus ‘continued uptake’ in asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, said Sanofi. The brand recently replaced AbbVie goliath, Humira, as the top spender on TV advertising.

However, Hudson was keen to focus on the company’s future products and said: “Our growing pipeline of potentially transformative therapies has progressed, including the most recent positive readouts for Dupixent in eosinophilic esophagitis and prurigo nodularis as well as the US approval and launch of Nexviazyme in Pompe disease. With higher R&D investment behind our pipeline assets and the two targeted bolt-on acquisitions of Translate Bio and Kadmon, we have further increased our commitment to bring innovative medicines to patients and drive future growth.”

In spite of the good news, Sanofi has experienced some setbacks this quarter. After delays to its phase 3 trials in haemophilia drug, fitusiran, due to blood clots last year, regulatory approval is not now expected until 2024. Other drugs that were delayed include tusamitamab in lung cancer and BTK inhibitor rilzabrutinib (which the company acquired from the $3.7bn Principia Biopharma deal).

Sanofi is clearly aware that it is releasing its Q3 financials at a time when the environment is in the headlines. “Aligned with our contract with society and leading up to COP26, we have set ourselves new ambitious ESG [environmental, social, and governance] targets to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate our actions in fighting global climate change.”

Article by
Hugh Gosling

1st November 2021

From: Sales

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