Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson says his company is the Big Pharma 'least exposed' to generics this decade

As Sanofi’s immunology business soars, the company is revealing another ace up its sleeve.

Among its Big Pharma peers, Sanofi is the pharma stock “least exposed” to generic competition through 2030, CEO Paul Hudson said on an investor call Thursday. That’s because Aubagio’s plunge off the patent cliff in 2023 marks Sanofi’s “last meaningful [loss of exclusivity] this decade,” the helmsman explained. Further, Sanofi expects the continued momentum behind Dupixent to more than make up for its Aubagio sales slide, Hudson said.

“Clearly, Dupixent remains the No. 1 driver of our growth story,” Hudson said at the top of the company’s second-quarter earnings call. During the second quarter, Dupixent pulled down sales of 1.96 billion euros, growing a whopping 43.4% at constant currencies, Sanofi said (PDF) in a release.

Hudson noted that five years into the med’s launch, Sanofi has treated more than 450,000 patients around the world with Dupixent.

Even still, “we know that it’s only really starting at this point,” Hudson said of Dupixent’s future trajectory. In fact, the company recently upgraded its peak sales target for Dupixent from 10 billion euros to more than 13 billion euros (about $14.44 billion), noting readouts in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease next year could garner even greater sales potential.

The med is also up for an FDA decision in the rare skin disease prurigo nodularis, with a Sep. 30 action date. As the med’s sales grow, all eyes are on whether Dupixent will join the ranks of the industry’s top-selling drugs like AbbVie’s immunology blockbuster Humira and Merck & Co.’s immuno-oncology star Keytruda.

Dupixent was originally approved in in the U.S. in 2017 for eczema. Since then, it's won green lights in three diseases across multiple age groups. This year itself, Dupixent racked up wins in atopic dermatitis, severe asthma including in younger patients and an approval as the first medication to treat eosinophilic esophagitis.

“The markets where we’re approved [with Dupixent] still remain largely under-penetrated,” Hudson said, adding that there’s a global population of around 7 million patients who might be a good fit for Sanofi’s drug.

Still, it wasn’t all good news for Dupixent in Sanofi’s second quarter. Alongside its earnings update, the company quietly reported it had culled development of the med to treat peanut allergy.

The Dupixent details came as Sanofi posted total revenues of about 10.11 billion euros for the second quarter, signaling an 8.1% jump at constant currencies.

Beyond immunology, Sanofi’s vaccine sales grew 8.7% to about 1.18 billion euros, while its rare disease franchise charted nearly 12% growth to 891 million euros.