Sanofi outlines five-pronged approach to reel in €10B in vaccine sales by 2030

While Dupixent often steals the show, Sanofi isn’t sleeping on its vaccine franchise. Boasting prophylactic prospects in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), pneumococcal disease and flu—including a clutch of promising mRNA candidates—the French pharma feels confident its shots can deliver billions of dollars by the end of the decade.

By 2030, Sanofi figures its immunizations could generate more than €10 billion in annual sales, the company said during a vaccines R&D event Thursday. Much of that momentum hinges on Sanofi’s pipeline, where the company is targeting an “accelerated pace of innovation” in a bid to launch at least five innovative phase 3 vaccine programs by 2025.

“When developing new vaccines, our scientists can now choose from nine distinct platforms—probably the largest number in the industry,” Thomas Triomphe, Sanofi’s executive vice president of vaccines, said of the company’s future immunization prospects. And despite big things on the horizon—principally in the form of mRNA—Sanofi’s current prophylactic roster is nothing to sneeze at either, Triomphe added.

“While it all starts with R&D, let me remind everyone that our vaccines business is built on very strong foundations.”

All told, Sanofi’s vaccines portfolio brought home €7,229 billion (about $7.9 billion) in sales for all of 2022. Between 2018 and 2022, Sanofi grew vaccine revenues by 8%, with two of the company’s shots—Fluzone High Dose and the pediatric vaccine Penta/Hexaxim—achieving blockbuster status. 

As for the company’s lofty sales target, Sanofi is leveraging a five-pronged plan. First, it aims to become a leader in RSV thanks to its AstraZeneca-partnered antibody blockbuster-in-waiting Beyfortus, plus a pair of experimental shots.

“Our ambition is to lead in RSV across all critical target populations and that ambition starts with Beyfortus in infants,” Kimberly Tutwiler, head of Sanofi’s RSV franchise, said.

With approvals locked down in multiple countries overseas and a green light imminent in the U.S., Sanofi is ready to launch Beyfortus in the 2023 season, Tutwiler said. Manufacturing is already underway, Tutwiler noted, adding that “we expect to fulfill the demand for this first season.”  The company expects to score an imminent license and CDC panel recommendation in the U.S., where the company has started contracting and reimbursement talks, she said.

She explained that in the build-up to Beyfortus’ launch, Sanofi has engaged with many physicians and public health experts, who’ve been “waiting for decades for a solution for RSV that they could offer to the broad infant population.”

As for Sanofi’s bread-and-butter influenza franchise, the company says it plans to “continue to win.”

“We have been part of the flu ecosystem for over 70 years and I’m happy to announce that reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Bill Averbeck, Sanofi’s global head of influenza, said during Thursday's event. Seqirus' Flucelvax has recently gained popularity because its cell-based production is considered a better, more reliable option than traditional egg-based approach.

Averbeck singled out Sanofi’s successes with products like Fluzone High Dose and recombinant protein-based Flublok as a class of “differentiated flu vaccines.” 

When it comes to future mRNA vaccines for flu, Sanofi is playing the long game, especially as some of the initial clinical data from mRNA-based flu shot failed to impress.

“First generation mRNA flu vaccines will not win,” Averbeck explained. “Essentially, we told you that the road to the first-generation mRNA vaccines will be long and difficult and without significant improvements; they simply will not be commercially viable.”

Averbeck singled out three measures of success for up-and-coming influenza immunizations: protection beyond flu, safety and tolerability, and lastly, administration.

“Any product attempting to be commercially viable in this older adult segment has to replicate the sustained, well-documented performance to the same level as Fluzone High Dose,” Averbeck said.

Aside from flu and RSV, Sanofi also aims to break into the pneumococcal market with another blockbuster hopeful—the phase 1/2 pediatric vaccine SP0202, which is being developed in tandem with SK Biosciences.

Elsewhere, Sanofi is striving to sustain the growth of its established business and make a splash with its cadre of upcoming mRNA vaccines—including shots against RSV in older adults, plus quadrivalent and next-generation flu shots, as well as an mRNA candidate against acne.