Sanofi ends research in diabetes
Sanofi SA announced it would end its research efforts in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as part of a revamp that will narrow the number of its business units in the hope of bolstering growth and profit, Reuters reports.
Its move to ditch diabetes research - announced alongside cost savings targets - marks a major turning point for a firm whose products dominated the insulin market for nearly two decades, before it was hit by patent losses and a drop in sales.
The French drugmaker poached new chief executive Paul Hudson from Swiss pharma group Novartis in September to revitalize the company.
New areas of opportunity - 3 pillars
Sanofi, currently organized around five global business units, said it would rejig these around three pillars: specialty care, which includes oncology and rare diseases, as well as vaccines and general medicines.
Its consumer healthcare unit - known for over-the-counter products such as paracetamol Doliprane, erectile dysfunction drug Cialis and influenza treatment Tamiflu - will be considered as a standalone business, Sanofi said. It would have its own operational dynamic, the firm added, though it did not clarify what this meant in the longer term.
We recognize it is getting more difficult to get breakthrough innovation and that we have to be efficient and move our resources to areas of opportunity, as tough a choice as that is,” Hudson told reporters.
The lucrative field of cancer drugs
The firm is bulking up elsewhere, as in the lucrative field of cancer drugs. It announced a deal to buy U.S. biotechnology firm Synthorx for about $2.5 billion earlier on Monday.
The group emphasized the potential for its eczema treatment Dupixent, recently approved in other therapeutic areas such as asthma, with an aim to expand sales to more than 10 billion euros.
Revenue for the drug, developed with U.S. partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, was up 268% in 2018, reaching 788 million euros.