Thrashed by a 'surprise' rival, Sanofi writes off $2B on soured hemophilia deal
The meteoric rise of Dupixent has swelled Q2 revenue at Sanofi, pushing up estimates for this year’s sales growth and grabbing analysts’ attention Monday. But the pharma giant still has some sour news to unload.
Sanofi wrote off $2 billion after watching the market for its hemophilia drug Eloctate shrivel in the face of Roche’s new star, Hemlibra. Sales dropped 11% and appear pointed firmly south.
Eloctate and Alprolix were the two big legacy drugs Sanofi obtained in early 2018 when execs paid $11.6 billion for Biogen spinoff Bioverativ. The buyout came just after the Hemlibra OK.
“It is a non-cash event of course but it is clear that the competition from Hemlibra was a surprise to everyone and it is indeed putting pressure,” Sanofi chief financial officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon told reporters, according to a report in Reuters.
But that’s not entirely accurate.
While the size of Hemlibra’s blockbuster success did catch a few analysts off guard, it was a clear and present threat at the time the BD team inked the deal for Bioverativ, as I reported at the time, noting Hemlibra “clearly threatens Bioverativ’s business.”
These old legacy products were clearly on the way out, as Shire and its buyer Takeda also understood. Sanofi, though, had struggled to land deals at a time it was under pressure to do something big. And they made it work for a souring Bioverativ buyout.
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