Pfizer, Sanofi settle first California Zantac case slated for trial: report

In yet another turn in the high-profile Zantac litigation, Sanofi and Pfizer agreed to settle a case set for trial in California.

Bloomberg first reported the news of the settlement, which comes after a U.S. District Judge ruled against the plaintiffs in the federal group of cases against the companies and others. Earlier this month, that ruling took out about 50,000 Zantac claims off the board.

As for the California settlement, that lawsuit came in California Superior Court for Alameda County, Bloomberg reports.

The financial terms of the agreement were not revealed, the news service said. Goetz also sued GSK, and that jury will start hearing evidence in February.

A Sanofi spokesperson told Fierce Pharma over email that the company settled the case “not because it believes these claims have any merit, but rather to avoid the expense and distraction of a trial in California.”

“With this settlement, Sanofi is not a defendant in any of the other California cases set for trial in 2023,” a company spokesperson said. “Consistent with the federal court’s recent ruling that there is insufficient evidence that ranitidine can cause plaintiffs’ alleged cancers, Sanofi remains committed to its defense and to the safety of Zantac.”

The settlement could be the first of many, analysts with ODDO BHF said in a note to clients. For Sanofi, the team estimated the litigation could cost up to $4 billion in a “worst-case scenario.”

A Pfizer spokesperson did not immediately reply to Fierce Pharma’s request for comment.

Zantac was pulled from the market in 2020 when it was linked to unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine, a potential cancer-causing agent, which set off a storm of litigation against its developer GSK and its former commercial partners Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Sanofi, as well as several generic manufacturers.