Sanofi offloads rights to prolonged-release antipsychotic drug

Sanofi has offloaded the French rights to a prolonged-release and divisible tablet formulations of lithium carbonate to Laboratoires Delbert, a company focused on the revival of essential medicines.

The products, sold under the brand names Teralithe 250 mg and Teralithe LP 400 mg, are small potatoes for Sanofi, which generated sales of €37.8 billion ($40.3 billion) last year. Laboratoires Delbert expects sales of its portfolio of medicines, which includes more than 10 products other than the ex-Sanofi drugs, to hit €30 million this year and achieve double-digit annual growth.

Marc Childs and Thierry Hoffmann, the co-founders of Laboratoires Delbert, framed the acquisition as part of their company’s “ongoing commitment” to invest in medicinal products of major therapeutic interest (MITMs) and prioritize the maintenance of the availability of the products for patients.  

France began requiring suppliers of MITMs to maintain at least two months of stock of the medicines last year. The minimum stockpile requirements for some of the products were changed earlier this year. The changes increased the minimum stockpile for 422 drugs to at least four months, and allowed producers of 98 products to carry less than two months of stock.

The stockpile requirements are intended to prevent shortages of important medicines. They also impose burdens on manufacturers in relation to products that, in some cases, are of little commercial importance for the company. Laboratoires Delbert is trying to carve out a niche as a specialist in ensuring access to MITMs.

Teralithe, an oral antipsychotic medicine, will slot into Laboratoires Delbert’s portfolio of central nervous system medicines. Laboratoires Delbert is also active in the anti-infective and oncology therapeutic areas.