R&D

Sanofi sounds taps on a half dozen drug programs in latest pipeline cleanup

Just 8 months after Sanofi $SNY amended its deal with a cash hungry ImmunoGen, paying $30 million to get full commercial rights on isatuximab and SAR428926 — an anti-LAMP1 ADC for solid tumors — the pharma giant is disposing a pair of development programs once pursued for both drugs.

Touted as a potential blockbuster for multiple myeloma and a top prospect in their late-stage pipeline, Sanofi is discarding a mid-stage effort on acute lymphoblastic leukemia for the anti-CD38 antibody isatuximab, according to its pipeline update today.

Then there’s GLD52 (GZ402668), once touted as a next-gen version of Lemtrada for relapsing multiple sclerosis. That’s out, without explanation.

There are several exits for mid-stage drugs, including:

— SAR100842, an LPA1 receptor antagonist studied for systemic sclerosis, didn’t make the cut.

— The IL-4/IL-13 antibody SAR156597 was dropped for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis after the Phase II wrapped. There’s still no word on what went wrong there.

And as we already reported last December, Sanofi terminated its late-stage program for a Clostridium difficile vaccine after investigators determined they were on a straight path to failure.

The fresh roster of setbacks underscores the issues that Sanofi has had to confront in trying to focus more on its in-house pipeline. Most of its most promising development programs have come from partnerships with Regeneron and Alnylam.

The big pivotal readouts in 2018 for Sanofi are on the PCSK9 drug Praluent, the PD-1 cemiplimab and dupilumab, all from Regeneron. Their fourth big readout is on isatuximab.

Sanofi’s biggest recent success actually turned into a bitter snafu after its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia triggered safety alarms after the company conceded it raised the risk of hospitalizations for kids who were vaccinated and then exposed to the wild type virus for the first time.


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