Approvals in past 5 years: 6
Value of recent approvals: $6.13 billion
Percent of value from recent approvals: 4%
Under CEO Paul Hudson’s “play to win” strategy, Sanofi has set out to focus only on “first-in-class" or “best-in-class" drug candidates. While that effort has yielded advances for the company in rare diseases, cancer and immunology, the value of Sanofi's approvals from the past five years lags most of its Big Pharma peers.
Over the last five years, Sanofi has scored approvals for six new drugs or vaccines, data from EvaluatePharma and Evaluate Vantage show. While that number falls in the middle of the pack among rivals, Sanofi’s new medicines are only worth about $6 billion in net present value, the analysts say. By that metric, the company only ranks ahead of Merck & Co. in the group.
Importantly, though, the data don’t include the key atopic dermatitis and immunology blockbuster Dupixent because Sanofi’s partner Regeneron sponsored the drug approval submission to the FDA. If it were included, Dupixent would’ve changed the data significantly and might have lifted Sanofi's overall positioning.
Whether or not it's included in Evaluate's report, the 2017 approval is on its way to megablockbuster sales. Dupixent generated €3.53 billion ($4.15 billion) in 2020, Sanofi said, and execs are confident the drug can reach €10 billion in peak sales.
As for Sanofi’s six in-house approvals from the past few years, Evaluate analysts say 2020 multiple myeloma approval Sarclisa is worth about $3 billion in net present value. Cablivi, a 2019 launch to treat a rare blood disorder, is worth a little more than $2 billion at net present value, the team notes. Sanofi picked up the nanobody medicine in its 2018 buyout of Ablynx.
In addition, Kevzara, an IL-6 inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis, is worth $608 million, Evaluate says. Sanofi was originally partnered on the drug with Regeneron, but in 2019 the companies decided to restructure their collaboration. In doing so, the companies said Sanofi would get full global rights to Kevzara going forward.
Shortly afterward, though, Kevzara showed early promise in COVID-19. The companies responded by delaying their split on the drug to explore its potential against the coronavirus. In the end, Kevzara never panned out in COVID-19.
Lastly among Sanofi's new launches, the company’s 2016 approval for Adlyxin to treat type 2 diabetes boasts a net present value of $385 million, Evaluate says. The treatment ran into delays along the development and regulatory path, allowing rivals Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly to gain a strong hold on the booming GLP-1 market in the U.S.
Aside from therapeutics, Sanofi has also advanced two vaccines to the market in recent years—dengue shot Dengvaxia and meningococcal vaccine MenQuadfi. The analysts don’t credit those offerings with any net present value. Dengvaxia originally carried blockbuster expectations, but a safety scandal derailed the rollout.
Aside from its newly approved drugs, Sanofi has big expectations for its pipeline. The company is advancing late-stage candidates against hemophilia, respiratory syncytial virus and breast cancer, among other diseases.