Last year, Sanofi's ($SNY) fourth-quarter flu vaccine sales soared on the introduction of a quadrivalent contender, surging more than 94%. Now, looking to keep that growth coming, the company is adding another four-strain shot to the mix.
The FDA has approved Sanofi's Fluzone Intradermal Quadrivalent in adults age 18 through 64, the company announced Friday. Previously, Fluzone Intradermal had been available only in trivalent form, containing two influenza A subtypes and one type B virus. Like Fluzone Quadrivalent, which made a splash last year on the U.S. market, Fluzone Intradermal Quadrivalent contains two influenza B subtypes.
But unlike Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluzone Intradermal is administered directly into the skin through a microneedle that is one-tenth the size of the typical needles used for intramuscular injection of flu vaccines.
|Sanofi Pasteur SVP of R&D John Shiver|
"Fluzone Intradermal Quadrivalent vaccine offers four-strain protection in a microinjection system that is convenient, efficient and easy to use, allowing for streamlined administration by health care providers," John Shiver, Sanofi Pasteur's SVP of R&D, said in a statement.
Last year, quadrivalents drove a sales swell for Sanofi--not to mention peers GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and AstraZeneca ($AZN)--that the French drugmaker wouldn't mind repeating. In Q4, its top-line vaccines haul shot up 94% on Fluzone's U.S. debut, in part thanks to the 34% price premium Sanofi charged private-sector buyers for the shot's stepped-up protection.
Now, the company is looking to take the improved jab to other markets, which should help it keep the sales ball rolling. Although it was forced to withdraw its European Fluzone application in Europe last year to make changes requested by regulators--putting it a step behind competitors--it announced in October that it would roll out the vaccine in Canada.
- read Sanofi's release
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