Sanofi's €10B sales target for Dupixent? The 'megabrand' is more than halfway there, exec says

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Once again, Sanofi's Dupixent and flu vaccines drove growth, but the company also had contributions from its oncology and rare disease portfolios. (Sanofi)

Shortly after Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson joined the company in 2019, he laid out an ambition to invest as much as necessary to turn the Regeneron-partnered antibody drug Dupixent into a megablockbuster. Two years later, Sanofi is well on its way.

Dupixent turned in more than 1 billion euros in U.S. quarterly sales from July to September, Sanofi said, serving as a top growth driver for the drugmaker worldwide. Overall, sales for the "megabrand" are annualizing at 6 billion euros, Sanofi's specialty care head Bill Sibold said on a conference call Thursday. That's despite the fact that doctor visits aren't quite back to pre-pandemic levels, he added.

After Hudson joined the drugmaker in 2019, he laid out a strategy to push the drug to 10 billion euros in peak sales.

Dupixent is growing thanks to its market dominance in atopic dermatitis, plus "continued uptake" in asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, Sanofi said in its third-quarter results. Regeneron and Sanofi have also put tens of millions in consumer advertising behind the brand, recently displacing AbbVie's giant, Humira, at the top of the list for spending on TV ads, according to the real-time television ad tracker iSpot.tv.

Over the last two years, the medicine's quarterly sales have nearly tripled, execs said. 

Looking forward, more indications could be on the way for Dupixent as it's posted positive data in chronic spontaneous urticaria, prurigo nodularis and eosinophilic esophagitis. Those are all “debilitating and underserved diseases," Sibold said. In the U.S., those diseases would add 500,000 patients eligible for treatment with Dupixent.

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During Thursday's earnings call with analysts, SVB Leerink's Geoffrey Porges asked whether Sanofi would be willing to update its 10 billion euro target for Dupixent to either 15 billion euros or 20 billion euros.

Given the "rocketship performance," Sibold said, Sanofi is working through the numbers for a potential update. He told the analyst to "stay tuned."

Sanofi isn't only benefiting from Dupixent's performance. The company's vaccines franchise turned in a record 2.4 billion euros in quarterly sales thanks to its "differentiated" flu offerings, Sanofi said. The licensure of a new production plant in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, allowed the company to ship more flu shots to the U.S. in "record time" this season, vaccines head Thomas Triomphe said on Thursday's call.

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Elsewhere in Sanofi's portfolio, rare disease drug sales grew 6% to 779 million euros, while oncology sales jumped 19% to 225 million euros thanks to its launches Sarclisa and Libtayo. On the flip side, sales for Sanofi's diabetes and cardiovascular franchises posted slight declines to 1.1 billion euros and 2.2 billion euros, respectively.

As another component of Hudson's plan, Sanofi has set out to cut 2.5 billion euros in annual costs by next year. The company is on target to reach that goal and plans to reinvest most of the savings toward its growth drivers, CFO Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said on the call.