Press review


Sanofi still looking for growth drivers as Brandicourt set to depart as CEO

PARIS, 21 June (APM) - Sanofi's outgoing chief executive Olivier Brandicourt has made progress in four out of five key areas he had to deal with when he started at Sanofi in 2015, said Les Echos on Thursday (p. 19).
The French pharma has improved in areas such as rebalancing an international group too focused on France and opening up research to partnerships and acquisitions, said the paper, but it is still not doing well on the stock exchange.
The economic daily pointed out that in comparison to rivals such as Merck & Co and Roche, who spend billions on clinical trials and in acquisitions, Sanofi only spends millions and has yet to make any major acquisitions.
John Reed, Sanofi's new head of R&D has already made progress by clarifying Sanofi's previously unfocused R&D strategy, said the paper.

Sanofi turns to rival Novartis for new CEO

Paul Hudson, currently head of Novartis' pharmaceutical division will succeed Olivier Brandicourt when he steps down as Sanofi's CEO this September, reported La Croix on Monday (p.15) (APMHE 63257).
Unlike Brandicourt, who is a doctor by training, Hudson studied economics and marketing and has a solid reputation as a manager.
Sanofi's board is hoping that he can reserve Sanofi's share price which has slumped 20% since Brandicourt took over as chief executive in 2015.
However, unions are more reserved about the new appointment, with some worrying that more restructuring plans will take place leading to yet more job cuts and relocations, said the paper.

Sanofi and Google sign partnership to create virtual innovation lab

Sanofi and Google have signed a partnership to create a virtual innovation laboratory, Les Echos reported on Wednesday (p.19) (APMHE 63365).
According to Sanofi's chief digital and medical officer Ameet Nathwani, this will change the way Sanofi develops new treatments.
The two groups aim to analyse Sanofi's scientific data to better understand patients by analysing their data, increase Sanofi's operational efficacy and establish better sales projections for the pharma.
Le Figaro (p.25) also reported on the subject on Wednesday.

Sanofi to cut staff posts in France and Germany

Sanofi is to cut 300 posts in R&D in France and 166 R&D posts in Germany, Les Echos reported on Thursday (p.19) (APMHE 63404).
The economic daily added that the decisions is part of new R&D head John Reed's strategy. Following Reed's arrival last year, Sanofi has reoriented its research and restocked its development pipeline. This has resulted in cardiology being struck off the R&D list. Instead, the pharma is going to concentrate on oncology, with the number of R&D posts in this sector set to double to 180.
Sanofi has already cut the number of French employees it has more than once in the past year, with 750 posts in support functions either being externalised or transferred to Hungary and 232 marketing posts cut.
Le Figaro (p.21), L'Humanité (p.10), Le Parisien (p.8) and Le Monde (p.19) also reported on the subject Thursday.

Pfizer acquires Array BioPharma for $11.4 billion

Pfizer is set to acquire Array BioPharma, a U.S. biotech specialising in oncology for $11.4 billion, Les Echos reported on Tuesday (p.20) (APMHE 63352).
With this acquisition, Pfizer gets hold of two drugs: Braftovi (encorafenib) and Mektovi (binimetinib), both effective against BRAF mutation cancers. The two drugs are already approved in the U.S., Europe and Japan for melanoma, and about 30 clinical trials are underway evaluating their potential in other cancers.
Pfizer has estimated that there are around 200,000 U.S. patients alone with metastatic colorectal cancer, 15% of which have a BRAF mutation that these drugs could treat.
This is only the latest oncology acquisition as bigger pharmaceutical companies snap up biotechs and smaller companies to get a share in the growing oncology market which is set to reach $200 billion in 2022.

GSK ready to make concessions for consumer health project with Pfizer

GlaxoSmithKline is ready to make concessions so its proposed consumer health plan with Pfizer, announced in December 2018, can go ahead, reports Les Echos in a brief on Friday (p.20).
If the planned co-enterprise gets the green light on 10 July, it will have a market share of 7.3%, considerably more than its competitors: Johnson & Johnson, Bayer and Sanofi who all own about 4% of the market.

Patients to sign form about risks of Bayer's Androcur

As of 1 July, doctors must have their patients sign a form informing them of the risks of developing meningioma with Bayer's Androcur (cyproterone acetate), reported Le Parisien on Tuesday (p.12) (APMHE 63335).
Taking Androcur or any of its generics for over six months increases the risk of these non-cancerous brain tumours by seven times, and if the drug is taken for longer periods of time and at higher doses the risk goes up by 20.
France's drug regulator ANSM and the health insurance are sending letters to over 80,000 patients who have taken or are taking the drug.
However, the paper continued, due to regulation the French authorities could not trace patients who took the drug over two years ago.



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