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Positive Data on Sanofi/REGN's Sarilumab

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Sanofi (SNY) and partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) announced encouraging data from the 52-week SARIL-RA-MOBILITY phase III trial (n ~1,200) on their pipeline candidate, sarilumab. The study evaluated the safety and efficacy of the candidate in adults suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (:RA) who have not shown adequate response to methotrexate (MTX) therapy.

Sarilumab met all the three co-primary end points and demonstrated significant improvement (measured using the American College of Rheumatology score of 20% improvement/ACR20) over placebo in both dosage groups (200 mg and 150 mg). At 24 weeks, the candidate improved the signs and symptoms of RA by 66% (sarilumab 200mg) and 58% (sarilumab 150 mg) as compared to 33% in the placebo arm.

The candidate also demonstrated improvement in physical function and efficacy in inhibition of progression of structural damage.

We note that Sanofi and Regeneron are conducting a SARIL-RA phase III development program to evaluate the use of sarilumab in the RA indication. The program consists of five trials, namely, SARIL-RA MOBILITY, SARIL-RA TARGET, SARIL-RA COMPARE, SARILRA ASCERTAIN and SARIL-RA EXTEND.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company is looking to combat the generic threat confronting most of its key drugs by signing deals and pursuing acquisitions. We are pleased with Sanofi’s efforts to develop its pipeline. We believe that new products will make significant contributions in the coming quarters.

Some better-ranked pharma stocks include Bayer (BAYRY) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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