Sanofi has a lot riding on Dupixent, and while it’s still early in the rollout, the drug is charting a megablockbuster course, execs said Thursday.
After its initial approval in atopic dermatitis, Sanofi is launching in that indication globally and adding on with new approvals in key markets. Dupixent has scored follow-up approvals in asthma and sinusitis with nasal polyps, with Europe approving the latter indication just this week.
“We are still in the process of launching a megablockbuster on a global scale, and we will continue to invest” to support that launch, Sanofi Genzyme head Bill Sibold said on a conference call Thursday.
While it's still early, Dupixent is already churning out important revenues for the drugmaker amid challenges elsewhere. During the third quarter, the med's sales grew 142% to €570 million ($635 million). Over the first 9 months of the year, sales came in at €1.395 billion ($1.56 billion)
And there’s more to come, Sibold said.
New Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson has placed an emphasis on launching “first-in-class” and “best-in-class” medicines, and Sibold said Dupixent is an example of how that approach helps a company succeed. The med’s safety and efficacy has been "recognized everywhere in the world” and the drug continues securing reimbursement, the exec said.
While Dupixent got a fast start in atopic dermatitis, Sibold sees an additional opportunity in asthma. Previously, pulmonologists weren’t interested in biologics because they didn’t want to do in-office injections. With Dupixent being an at-home injection for patients, that’s changing, he said.
Looking ahead, analysts questioned the drugmaker about the threat oral JAK inhibitors pose to Dupixent, but Sibold responded he's confident in Dupixent’s efficacy and safety. The drugmaker will wait and see about the labels and data profile for forthcoming competition.
Still, Sanofi already has a lead in atopic dermatitis and is “not going to let somebody come in and take it away from us,” he said.
Overall, Sanofi reported €9.5 billion in third-quarter revenues, a 1.1% drop at constant exchange rates from the same period last year. Dupixent's rollout comes as other areas of the French drugmaker's business, notably cardiovascular and diabetes, struggle from pricing pressure and competition. Sanofi markets Dupixent as part of a collaboration with Regeneron.