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Aubagio approval sets Sanofi up with possible blockbuster

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In these days of patent losses, falling revenues and massive layoffs, Sanofi ($SNY) could use some good news, and it got some late Wednesday with the FDA approval of its new multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Aubagio, a possible blockbuster if it can sweep up market share from some tough competitors.

To start that process the company said it was pricing the drug at $45,000 a year, making it 7% less than Teva Pharmaceutical's ($TEVA) Copaxone and 28% less than Gilenya from Novartis ($NVS), FierceBiotech reports. 

Not all analysts have been bullish about Aubagio's potential. Datamonitor assessed peak sales at $350 million for the top global commercial markets, according to a report from Reuters. While it may get only a small piece of a market that is expected to grow about 50% to $14 billion in 2015, it is still an important win for the French drugmaker that later this month is expected to announce about 2,500 more employee cuts in its French homeland.

The drug also is taken orally, an advantage over competitors that are injected.The two biggest competitors will be MS pills Gilenya and Biogen Idec's ($BIIB) BG-12. Sanofi also has another MS treatment, the injectable drug Lemtrada, for which it is seeking approval.

- here's the Reuters story 
- read more from FierceBiotech 

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