Sanofi-Aventis is in turmoil. While his first two drugs, anticoagulants Lovenox and Plavix, might soon be competed by generics, its third product, the Lantus, prescribed for diabetes, is led to a plunge of 8.1 of the action Friday, after a decline of 4.57 already the day before. Four studies are a "possible link" between the capture of this insulin and an "increased risk of cancer", according to the European Association for studies on diabetes (EASD in English), which launches an "urgent appeal for additional research." Published Friday, the release of the EASD confirmed raised fears earlier by some analysts. In response, Sanofi-Aventis said that these analyses do not conclude a "causal relationship." Along with "clinical" in this day and which represent the.
Does. Doubts about the Lantus led down the titles of the other great present laboratories in the treatment of diabetes. The course of the Eli Lilly American (which markets the Byetta) lost 3.4 session Friday, to resume at the end. As the Danish Novo Nordisk, the world leader of insulin, with 4.5 billion euros in sales in this area last year, he assigned 3.74, to 270 kroner. Replying to the EASD, his direction went a reassuring release, but found it useful to hold a conference call for investors today.
The Lantus, who will lose the protection of his patent in 2014, represented 2.45 billion in sales last year. He mainly posted the strongest growth among the major drugs of Sanofi-Aventis ( 27.7 on 2007), against an increase of 13.2 for the cancer drug TAXOTERE and slightly more than 10 for Lovenox and Plavix. The group led by Chris Viehbacher founded great hopes for this insulin, stated in February to want to establish "in the first place of medications in the value world." Late April reaffirmed ambitions with goal a doubling of turnover by 2012, compared to 2008.
To achieve this, Sanofi-Aventis has not homework on ways and announced two investments: the first in April of $ 90 million in China, to develop local SoloStar production, the injection device prepopulated Lantus, and the second of 30 million euros in Germany early June, to acquire a Pfizer plant located in Frankfurt. As the product is no shortage of assets: it has a duration of action more prolonged that other types of insulin and allows the patient to control his diabetes in a single daily injection.
With raised fears, the number four global pharmacy is reassuring and reaffirmed that "clinical studies in patients 70,000 and monitoring data collected after the placing on the market confirm the safety profile of the product. These comments were not completely satisfied analysts. "Even if Lantus is released of any possible increased risk of cancer, media attention will likely affect the profile of growth", observes Morgan Stanley.
Chris Viehbacher must now reassure investors. This task is not unknown to him. When he was stationed at GlaxoSmithKline, the leader had already to convince the financial community in the interest of the Avandia, suspected to cause heart problems. Successfully since this an antidiabetic agent has not been withdrawn from the market.
Another meeting in high risk this week for the Director General of Sanofi-Aventis: extraordinary group Committee which will meet on July 1. At its agenda included the reorganization of Sanofi-Aventis, including tertiary sites and R & D. Unions fear of new deletions of posts.