Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanofi CEO Paul Hud­son of­floads two port­fo­lios to Ger­man phar­ma com­pa­ny in con­tin­ued ef­fort to prune prod­ucts

Sanofi warned ear­li­er this year that some se­ri­ous cuts were in or­der. CEO Paul Hud­son made good on that promise this week, prun­ing more than a dozen mar­ket­ed prod­ucts.

Ger­many-based Neu­rax­pharm re­vealed yes­ter­day that it struck a deal for Sanofi’s CNS and pain and vas­cu­lar dis­ease port­fo­lios. While the com­pa­nies are keep­ing the fi­nan­cial terms un­der wraps for now, Neu­rax­pharm did say it’s swal­low­ing 17 prod­ucts rep­re­sent­ing 38 brands, in­clud­ing neu­rolep­tics Noz­i­nan and Tiapri­dal, anx­i­ety med Tranx­ene and an­tipsy­chotics Dog­matil and Largac­til.

With­in the pain and vas­cu­lar port­fo­lio, Neu­rax­pharm is get­ting pain nar­cot­ic Topal­gic and Trental, which is used to im­prove blood flow.

Neu­rax­pharm ex­pects that the new prod­ucts will boost sales to about $600 mil­lion this year.

Jörg-Thomas Dierks

“There is sig­nif­i­cant growth po­ten­tial in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tor, es­pe­cial­ly in the CNS mar­ket dri­ven by an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and an in­creas­ing aware­ness of men­tal health,” CEO Jörg-Thomas Dierks said in a news re­lease. “With the up­com­ing ac­qui­si­tion, we will not on­ly strength­en our pres­ence in Eu­rope, but al­so lay the ground for fur­ther ex­pand­ing our in­ter­na­tion­al pres­ence.”

The new drugs will con­tribute to a port­fo­lio of CNS drugs, as well as gener­ics and con­sumer health­care prod­ucts such as nu­traceu­ti­cals and pro­bi­otics, ac­cord­ing to Neu­rax­pharm’s web­site. The com­pa­ny has main of­fices in Ger­many and Spain, with ad­di­tion­al lo­ca­tions through­out Eu­rope.

Hud­son has been on a mis­sion to re­shape Sanofi since he took the helm in 2019. He said ear­li­er this year that noth­ing is off the ta­ble when it comes to re­struc­tur­ing, and has al­ready culled a hand­ful of pro­grams.

Olivi­er Charmeil

Dur­ing the Q1 call, EVP of gen­er­al med­i­cines Olivi­er Charmeil said the com­pa­ny is look­ing to shave the gen­er­al med­i­cines unit down to about 125 prod­uct fam­i­lies, ei­ther by di­vest­ing or dis­con­tin­u­ing pro­grams. That’s a big dif­fer­ence from late 2019 and ear­ly 2020, when the unit boast­ed more than 350 prod­uct fam­i­lies.

The com­pa­ny al­so re­vealed in its Q4 re­sults that it plans on ax­ing about 6,000 jobs in an ef­fort to be­come more “ag­ile.” Ex­ecs said at the time that they were aim­ing for a head­count of around 90,000 by the end of the year.

Ei­sai’s ex­pand­ed Alzheimer’s da­ta leave open ques­tions about safe­ty and clin­i­cal ben­e­fit

Researchers still have key questions about Eisai’s investigational Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab following the publication of more Phase III data in the New England Journal of Medicine Tuesday night.

In the paper, which was released in conjunction with presentations at an Alzheimer’s conference, trial investigators write that a definition of clinical meaningfulness “has not been established.” And the relative lack of new information, following topline data unveiled in September, left experts asking for more — setting up a potential showdown to precisely define how big a difference the drug makes in patients’ lives.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

Twit­ter dis­ar­ray con­tin­ues as phar­ma ad­ver­tis­ers ex­tend paus­es and look around for op­tions, but keep tweet­ing

Pharma advertisers on Twitter are done — at least for now. Ad spending among the previous top spenders flattened even further last week, according to the latest data from ad tracker Pathmatics, amid ongoing turmoil after billionaire boss Elon Musk’s takeover now one month ago.

Among 18 top advertisers tracked for Endpoints News, only two are spending: GSK and Bayer. GSK spending for the full week through Sunday was minimal at just under $1,900. Meanwhile, German drugmaker Bayer remains the industry outlier upping its spending to $499,000 last week from $480,000 the previous week. Bayer’s spending also marks a big increase from a month ago and before the Musk takeover, when it spent $16,000 per week.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Vi­a­tris with­draws ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for top­i­cal an­timi­cro­bial 24 years lat­er

After 24 years without confirming clinical benefit, the FDA announced Tuesday morning that Viatris (formed via Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn) has decided to withdraw a topical antimicrobial agent, Sulfamylon (mafenide acetate), after the company said conducting a confirmatory study was not feasible.

Sulfamylon first won FDA’s accelerated nod in 1998 as a topical burn treatment, with the FDA noting that last December, Mylan told the agency that it wasn’t running the trial.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 153,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Tim Walbert, Horizon Therapeutics CEO (via YouTube)

Hori­zon Ther­a­peu­tics in takeover talks with Am­gen, J&J, Sanofi as po­ten­tial buy­ers

Amgen, J&J’s Janssen and Sanofi are all in talks to acquire Horizon Therapeutics, the rare disease biotech disclosed late Tuesday.

Horizon confirmed “highly preliminary discussions” with those companies regarding a potential buyout offer after the Wall Street Journal reported takeover interest.

Although the company — which commands a market cap of close to $18 billion — emphasized that “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the Company,” shares $HZNP still surged 31% in after-hours trading to near $103, bringing it to the point where it started the year.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 153,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Susan Galbraith, AstraZeneca EVP, oncology R&D, at EUBIO22 (Rachel Kiki for Endpoints News)

Up­dat­ed: As­traZeneca jumps deep­er in­to cell ther­a­py 2.0 space with $320M biotech M&A

Right from the start, the execs at Neogene had some lofty goals in mind when they decided to try their hand at a cell therapy that could tackle solid tumors.

Its founders have helped hone a new approach that would pack in multiple neoantigen targets to create a personalized TCR treatment that would not just make the leap from blood to solid tumors, but do it with durability. And they managed to make their way rapidly to the clinic, unveiling their first Phase I program for advanced tumors just last May.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Sana, Codex­is lay off staff, reshuf­fle pipeline in bid to fo­cus cell ther­a­py, en­zyme en­gi­neer­ing work

As its market cap shrinks to a fraction of its heyday, flashy cell therapy startup Sana Biotechnology is laying off 15% of its staffers in a move to rejig the pipeline and restructure the company.

Sana is among a growing group of biotechs that, feeling the weight of a broader market downturn and seeing their shares tumble steadily, are tightening the purse strings and adjusting their focus. Also on Tuesday, Codexis, an enzyme engineering company based in California and now helmed by former Sierra Oncology CEO Stephen Dilly, announced it will reduce the workforce by 18%.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 153,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: Pfiz­er, BioN­Tech re-up iHeartRa­dio hol­i­day spon­sor­ship; WHO re­names mon­key­pox to 'm­pox'

It’s that time of year again for pop music fans with the return of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour — and Pfizer and BioNTech’s sponsorship. For the second year, the Covid-19 vaccine collaborators are the pharma national sponsors among consumer brand partners, including ESPN, Dunkin, M&Ms, Mercedes and Pepsi.

Pfizer and BioNTech are also sponsoring the official Jingle Ball Radio streaming station on iHeart’s network, programmed with music from past and present concert performers. This year they include Lizzo, Dua Lipa, Dove Cameron and Charlie Puth. Pfizer-sponsored radio ads and online video and digital banner ads encourage listeners to get updated Covid-19 booster shots.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 153,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO (AP Images)

Nestlé re­con­sid­ers peanut al­ler­gy pro­gram two years af­ter $2.6B buy­out

It seems Nestlé is experiencing some buyer’s remorse two years after throwing down $2.6 billion for Aimmune Therapeutics and its peanut allergy pill Palforzia.

CEO Mark Schneider announced on Tuesday that Nestlé is “exploring strategic options” for Palforzia following lower-than-expected demand. A company spokesperson declined to confirm whether a potential sale is in consideration.

“The review is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Going forward, Nestlé Health Science will sharpen its focus on Consumer Care and Medical Nutrition,” the company said in a news release.

Bris­tol My­ers scraps gene ther­a­py deal with uniQure for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases

Bristol Myers Squibb is hitting the exit on a collaboration with a gene therapy biotech.

The Big Pharma company will no longer partner with uniQure on finding new treatments for cardiovascular diseases, the biotech reported to the SEC last week, following a rocky relationship that saw the pair break off an earlier agreement — before coming back to the table. The deal will officially terminate on Feb. 21, 2023.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 153,800+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.