Sanofi sees downtick in flu sales as it preps for launch of RSV antibody
Sanofi expects its RSV antibody jointly developed with AstraZeneca will be available next season, executive VP of vaccines Thomas Triomphe announced on the company’s quarterly call.
Beyfortus, also known as nirsevimab, was approved in the EU back in November and is currently under FDA review with an expected decision coming in the third quarter of this year. The news comes as the FDA plans to hold advisory committee meetings over the next couple months to review RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK.
“We’re getting ready to launch Beyfortus for the next RSV season as soon as we get the license and ACIP recommendation,” Triomphe said on the quarterly call. “RSV is creating havoc this season. It has put heavy burden on healthcare systems and emotional strain on families, which reinforces the value of Beyfortus as a solution for an important unmet medical need.”
Meanwhile, Sanofi reported a roughly 42% boost in sales last quarter for its blockbuster Dupixent, totaling €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) with sales in the US reaching close to €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion). The uptick was driven by strong demand in asthma and atopic dermatitis (AD) as well as a launch in AD for children as young as six months, Sanofi said.
Overall, the company pulled in €10.7 billion ($11.6 billion) in sales for the final quarter and close to €43 billion ($46.5 billion) last year.
“The biologic profile of Dupixent to this day, we believe remains the best in its class with exceptional ability to balance high efficacy with compelling safety,” CEO Paul Hudson said on the investor call. “Blazing the trail in markets that are underpenetrated in terms of eligible patient populations, Dupixent keeps adding significant patient pools through multiple approvals in diseases that are still underserved. Without question, this method is now a key cornerstone in treating chronic type 2 inflammatory diseases.”
However, the company did disclose a few speed bumps. While recording €7.2 billion ($7.8 billion) in vaccines sales for the entire year, sales slipped 16% last quarter to €1.7 billion ($1.8 billion). Triomphe said on the call that this was due to “stronger production execution” and the shipment of large amounts of influenza vaccine that took place in Q3. In the quarter, flu vaccines saw a 32% sales decrease, and polio/pertussis/Hib (PPH) vaccines fell more than 16%.
“PPH sales were lower compared to the same quarter last year due to the COVID-19 institution in China disrupting the routine infant vaccination at the centers of care,” Triomphe said.
For general medicines, Sanofi had a 3.7% decrease for the quarter at €3.4 billion ($3.7 billion).
Looking at 2023, Sanofi is expecting its earnings per share (EPS) to grow in the low single digits, according to CFO Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon. As for launches in 2023, Sanofi is gearing up for a readout of Dupixent in COPD as well as launches for Altuviiio for hemophilia A and Beyfortus in RSV.
While Sanofi announced last month that it was backing out of deal talks with Horizon, Chatillon said that its strategy hasn’t changed and that deals done in the past have mostly been centered on early science.
“If we see an opportunity where we can create value for shareholders, we would seize it. It’s not always about the size because Horizon at the right price was a great opportunity to accelerate our journey to invest more in innovative science. So, no change of strategy but always on the lookout to seize an opportunity and try to create value for shareholders,” Chatillon said.