UK cost body wants more information on Sanofi MS drug Lemtrada

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Britain's healthcare cost-effectiveness watchdog NICE said on Thursday there were still questions to be answered about Sanofi's new multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada before it could decide if the product was worth using.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) - the body that decides if drugs should be prescribed on the state health service - is asking the French firm's Genzyme unit to submit extra information by Jan. 9.

Lemtrada, an injectable treatment also known as alemtuzumab, was approved in Europe in September. It is still awaiting a green light in the United States, where experts have raised questions about its safety and the quality of clinical studies.

The drug was at the heart of Sanofi's lengthy, $20.1 billion takeover battle for Genzyme, which developed the drug. Sanofi finally acquired Genzyme in 2011.

As part of the takeover deal, Genzyme shareholders received contingent value rights, known as CVRs, entitling them to future payments of up to $14 a share, depending on the success of the medicine.