Sanofi's Vaccine Backed by CHMP

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Sanofi’s (SNY) vaccines division, Sanofi Pasteur, announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (:EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recently rendered a positive opinion on its 6-in-1 pediatric vaccine Hexyon/Hexacima (DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepBvaccine).

The 6-in-1 vaccine will prevent diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitisB, poliomyelitis and invasive infections caused by haemophilus influenzaetype b in infants.

We note that Sanofi is looking to combat the generic threat confronting most of its key drugs by signing deals, making acquisitions and introducing new products.

We believe that the pipeline at Sanofi must deliver to combat the generic threat. We are pleased with Sanofi’s efforts to develop its pipeline. Over the last few months, several of Sanofi’s pipeline candidates gained approval including the US approval of Aubagio (teriflunomide) for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (:RMS) and the US and EU approval of Zaltrap (aflibercept) as a combination therapy for treatment-experienced patients suffering from metastatic colorectal cancer. We note that Sanofi has a worldwide collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) for the development and commercialization of Zaltrap.

We note that several of Sanofi’s candidates will be up for approval in the coming quarters as well. In Sanofi’s vaccine pipeline, the Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) is expected to decide on the intramuscular quadrivalent formulation of Fluzone in the second quarter of 2013. Another vaccine for the prevention of primary symptomatic clostridium difficile infections (CDI) is expected to move into phase III studies in the third quarter of 2013.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the short run. Pharma companies that currently look better-positioned include Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) and Bayer (BAYRY). Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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