Sanofi stands behind 'accuracy of our accounts' amid reports of French manipulation probe

Since launching the Regeneron-partnered antibody Dupixent in 2017, Sanofi has relied on the star medicine for sales growth. Now, though, an investigation in France calls into question some of the company's prior financial communications about the launch, according to press reports.

According to French publication La Lettre, France’s economic crime authority in March opened a preliminary probe into the company. The case centers on "financial communication" around the launch of Dupixent, according to the publication.

Financial news outlet CNBC said it confirmed the probe with a "judicial source." The publication reports that the investigation centers on "possible market manipulation."

For its part, Sanofi says it has “not been contacted” in relation to any preliminary investigation by the Parquet National Financier, the company told Fierce Pharma.

“We stand by the accuracy of our accounts. As a listed company, the financial information published by Sanofi is duly audited by two auditing firms. Sanofi reserves the right to take legal action against any false or defamatory allegations,” the statement continued.

When Sanofi debuted its Regeneron-partnered Dupixent in its first indication in atopic dermatitis, the company pegged expected sales to land in the $3 billion-plus range across several future other uses.

These days, the drug is charted to surpass the $20 billion mark later this decade if approved in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), analysts at Evercore ISI said in March.

With a label that now includes several diseases beyond atopic dermatitis, Dupixent is showing no signs of slowing. Last year, the drug generated full-year sales of $8.7 billion, good for 40% growth from the previous year.

Meanwhile, this reported investigation isn't the first time that Sanofi has faced legal scrutiny from officials in its home country. After years of probing potential birth defects tied to its epilepsy medicine Depakine, the case moved forward in 2020 on a manslaughter charge.