Sanofi pledges to keep up its restructuring efforts
* CEO pleased with sales of Dupixent, Kevzara
* Recent reorganisations to support synergies
* Room for bolt-on acquisitions
* But financial discipline a priority for Sanofi - CEO
(Adds quotes, background)
By Matthias Blamont
PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Sanofi will continue to
implement cost savings after having reached a 1.5 billion euros
($1.75 billion) cost reduction target a year ahead of
expectations, and added that several of its key drugs were
The French drugmaker, hurt by declining revenue at its
diabetes business in recent years, is eyeing a return to growth
from the second half of 2018 as it builds upon acquisitions made
earlier this year.
"It's only the beginning, and we will continue to be very
efficient," Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt told investors,
regarding the cost savings, at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch
conference in London on Friday.
The CEO did not elaborate further but referred to a
reorganisation of Sanofi's global business units unveiled
earlier this week.
"We are moving from five business units to four and that's
going to be very helpful in addition to generating synergies,
savings," said Brandicourt.
The executive flagged atopic dermatitis drug Dupixent, for
which Sanofi has placed great hopes because of its potential to
treat other diseases, as a key product that could make a
difference between Sanofi and its rivals in the future.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulator is expected to
approve Dupixent in asthma before the end of the year.
"We are very satisfied with the way Dupixent has been
launched and continues to exceed expectations. Kevzara also is
actually competing very effectively and gaining market share and
if you combine the two at our last quarter we are not far from
annualizing now at blockbuster levels," said Brandicourt.
Kevzara, prescribed for adults suffering from moderate-to-
severe rheumatoid arthritis, and Dupixent were both developed by
Sanofi and its U.S partner Regeneron.
Sanofi said sales of Dupixent had totalled 176 million euros
($205.9 million) in the second quarter, while Kevzara recorded
revenue of 20 million.
Earlier this year, Sanofi bought U.S haemophilia specialist
Bioverativ for $11.6 billion and Belgium's Ablynx, which is
developing an experimental drug for a rare blood disorder, for
3.9 billion euros.
"That integration is going very well from our point of view
and we'll build on those foundations over time," Brandicourt
said, adding the company had not changed its approach when it
came to mergers and acquisitions.
"We want to stay pretty disciplined and continue to have
good credit ratings. And so we have about 6-7 billion euros if
we wanted to go after very specific bolt-on acquisitions,
helping us to strengthen our position."
Sanofi shares, which were flat in mid-session trading, have
risen by around 5 percent so far in 2018.
($1 = 0.8547 euros)
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont;
Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
First Published: 2018-09-14 12:14:08
Updated 2018-09-14 13:16:24
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