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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Sanofi to focus on 12 blockbuster drug candidates, immunology pipeline

(Corrects to say Sanofi's Head of Research and Development Houman Ashrafian as saying in statement and not Chief Executive Paul Hudson in paragraph 5)

Dec 7 (Reuters) - Sanofi said on Thursday it will focus on 12 potential blockbuster drug candidates and prioritise development in immunology, as it faces investor pressure after abandoning 2025 margin targets while boosting research and development spending.

The 12 blockbuster drugs include nine medicines and vaccines with 2 billion to 5 billion euros ($2.15-$5.38 billion) in peak sales potential, and three "pipeline-in-a-product" assets with a potential of more than 5 billion euros in peak sales, Sanofi said.

The France-based drugmaker said it expects its recently launched and future pharmaceutical assets to generate more than 10 billion euros ($10.76 billion) of annual sales by 2030.

The company's top-selling anti-inflammatory drug Dupixent, which it hopes to use in treating COPD, or "smoker's lung", is expected to deliver a low double-digit rate of compounded annual net sales growth from 2023 and 2030, it said.

"We are in a privileged position today with many very promising assets in mid- and late-stage development," Sanofi's Head of Research and Development Houman Ashrafian said in a statement.

"We believe in our capacity to improve outcomes for patients globally, while bringing innovative new medicines to market and strengthening our leadership in immunology and neuro-inflammation."

The firm reiterated its expectation to generate more than 10 billion euros of annual sales from vaccines by 2030, including its recent launch of Beyfortus, which is used to prevent a common respiratory infection in infants. ($1 = 0.9293 euros) (Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama and Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Edmund Klamann)

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