Sanofi, intent on slimming down, mulls $200M-plus sale of anti-inflammation meds: report

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Sanofi aims to cut around $2.36 billion in annual expenses. (Sanofi)

Sanofi is in the middle of an ambitious reorganization, spearheaded by CEO Paul Hudson, to slash expenses and pivot toward blockbuster Dupixent. Now, the company is reportedly mulling an asset sale that could net a few hundred million and streamline operations further.

The French drugmaker is shopping a clutch of older anti-inflammatory medicines in a deal that could fetch as much as $234 million, Bloomberg reported

Sanofi has reached out to private equity investors and "strategic buyers" for the purported deal, sources told Bloomberg. The sale wouldn't include the drugmaker's profitable immunology franchise, including Dupixent.

Indeed, it would allow Sanofi to sharpen its focus on novel therapeutics like Dupixent, which the drugmaker co-markets with Regeneron and hit $1.92 billion in sales in the first half of the year.

A Sanofi spokeswoman declined to comment.

RELATED: Sanofi touts Dupixent's pandemic 'resilience' as cost cuts add up

The potential sale comes amid a cost-cutting spree at Sanofi, which eliminated $1.16 billion in expenses in the first half of this year by dramatically reducing travel and events, printing fewer promotional materials, cutting suppliers, tightening up on training costs and more. About $130 million of those savings stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanofi estimated.

Sanofi's eventual goal, outlined by Hudson during a December reimagining of the drugmaker's strategic aims, will be to cut around $2.36 billion in annual expenses. As part of that mission, Sanofi reworked its immunology partnership with Regeneron, which covered Dupixent, IL-6 inhibitor Kevzara and PCSK9 cholesterol med Praluent. Pandemic-era testing of Kevzara as a COVID-19 therapy scaled down that restructuring, though.

Meanwhile, the drugmaker is reportedly going ahead with a tricky spinoff of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) business, Reuters reported in July. The spun-off company, expected to become the world's second largest API producer by sales, will have 3,100 employees and projected revenues of €1 billion by 2022. It’ll comprise six Sanofi sites in France, Italy, Germany, Hungary and the U.K. Sanofi plans to own about 30% of the new company.

RELATED: How will Sanofi save €2B? Chopping support staff and 'smart' purchasing, for 2

All of those cuts could have a major impact on Sanofi's global workforce in the short term.

In June, Reuters reported the drugmaker was weighing massive layoffs in its European operations, including slicing away more than 1,000 workers in France. It's not the first time Sanofi has instituted job cuts as part of its periodic strategic realignments: Last year, the company laid off U.S. sales staffers, and it previously eliminated 400 positions stateside.