Sanofi returns to growth in Q3, as Genzyme, vaccines lead recovery

Headline results for the third quarter:

Prescription drug sales

6.2 billion euros ($7 billion)

+3.2%

Revenue

9.4 billion euros ($10.7 billion; forecasts of 9.3 billion euros)

+3.7%

Profit

2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion; forecasts of 2.2 billion euros)

+45.7%

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

"In the third quarter, Sanofi entered a new growth phase," remarked CEO Olivier Brandicourt, "with double-digit growth in specialty care and emerging markets, while vaccines contributed a high-single digit increase in sales." Brandicourt added "based on the underlying dynamics demonstrated in the quarter, Sanofi is now well positioned to deliver growth".

Other results:

  • Genzyme unit: 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), up 32.2 percent, driven by immunology and rare blood disorder franchises
  • Diabetes and cardiovascular business unit: 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), down 8.3 percent
    • Lantus: 897 million euros ($1 billion), down 20.2 percent, mainly due to lower average net price and changes in coverage in Part D in the US
    • Toujeo: 215 million euros ($244 million), up 9.1 percent
  • Dupixent: 225 million euros ($255 million), up 197.3 percent, ahead of analyst estimates, with sales in the US up 152.7 percent on a constant exchange rate basis to 189 million euros ($214 million)
  • Praluent: 68 million euros ($77 million), up 61.9 percent
  • Vaccines division: 2.1 billion euros ($2.4 billion), up 8 percent, supported by the recovery in Pentaxim supply in China and performance of Menactra and Flublok
  • Emerging markets: 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion), up 10.4 percent on a constant currency basis

Looking ahead:

Sanofi now expects annual earnings-per-share growth of between 4 percent and 5 percent, on a constant currency basis, with the bottom end of the range lifted from a prior estimate of 3 percent. Chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste Chasseloup de Chatillon noted that sales in its vaccine business are forecast to grow in the mid- to high-single-digit range in the second half, slightly up from earlier predictions.

Pipeline update:

Sanofi indicated that it will not start a Phase III programme evaluating Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. The company added that following results from the Phase IIb RESPIRE study, it will pursue further development of the anti-respiratory syncitial virus nanobody ALX0171 in infants. Sanofi, which gained the drug via its purchase of Ablynx, said that while results were positive for the main goal of antiviral efficacy and target exposure was achieved, consistent clinical efficacy was not seen across secondary endpoints. The drugmaker noted that it will continue the mid-stage BREEZE programme for ALX0171 in adults who have received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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