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Sanofi Unveils Bond Issue Pricing

Zacks Equity Research

Recently, Sanofi (SNY) successfully conducted a bond market transaction, thereby issuing notes worth €1 billion. Sanofi intends to utilize the proceeds from the transaction for general corporate purposes and refinancing debt.

Sanofi has offered €1 billion notes carrying an annualized interest rate of 1.875%. The notes will be due in 2020.

Apart from the bond issue, Sanofi was in the news recently when its oral drug Aubagio 14 mg, gained approval from the European Commission (EC). The EC approved Aubagio as a once-daily treatment for adults suffering from relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

The approval did not come as a surprise as the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use had recommended the approval of Aubagio in Mar 2013.

We note that Aubagio is currently marketed in the U.S. as a once-daily treatment for patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Aubagio is under review in several other countries. In the second quarter of 2013, Aubagio generated sales of €33 million as compared to €20 million in the first quarter of 2013. We believe that Aubagio possesses significant commercialization opportunity.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We are concerned about generic erosion confronting most of Sanofi’s key drugs. Additionally, recent pipeline failures (oncology candidate -  iniparib and anticoagulant - otamixaban) have put immense pressure on Sanofi’s pipeline.

Companies that currently look well-positioned include Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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