Sanofi ups revenues forecasts as eczema drug Dupixent surges

Sanofi has upped its revenue forecasts for the year on the back of strong second quarter results from its new eczema and asthma injection Dupixent and its rare diseases and vaccines businesses.

The French company said that sales of Dupixent (dupilumab)  were up 168% to 496 million euros ($551 million) compared with the same quarter last year, with first half sales totalling 825 million euros ($917 million), up 175% compared with the previous half.

First approved in eczema in March 2017, Dupixent has since been approved in asthma, and this year for eczema in adolescents, and chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps.

So far the drug has been launched in 28 countries, and 11 more launches in eczema and seven in asthma are planned over the course of the year.

Multiple sclerosis drug Aubagio (teriflunomide) saw sales increase almost 11% to $466 million, but that has been on the market much longer after first approval in the US as long ago as 2012.

The French company’s rare diseases and vaccines operations also helped to drive up sales, with sales of 810 million euros ($901 million) and 1,021 million euros ($1,136 million), up 23% and 25% respectively).

This helped to offset a decline in its diabetes franchise, as blockbuster Lantus (insulin glargine) continues to encounter tough competition after losing patent protection in the US, and newer branded drugs hit the market.

Diabetes drug sales decreased 7% to 1.290 billion euros ($1.434 billion) and Lantus sales were down 16% to $758 million.

There was also an on-off impairment charge of 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) related to Eloctate for haemophilia after lower sales in the US and a revision of sales projections.

Net sales were just over 8.6 billion euros ($9.6 billion), increasing by 5.5% on a reported basis, and the company said it was predicting earnings per share growth of around 5% compared with its early target in the range of 3%-5%.

This is based on an assumption that sales of Dupixent will continue to grow as it launches in more countries.

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