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Sanofi, ImmuNext Ink Deal, Focus on Autoimmune Diseases

Zacks

Sanofi SNY announced an agreement with ImmuNext, Inc. for the development of a novel antibody to treat a range of autoimmune diseases including lupus and multiple sclerosis.

Sanofi’s share price has gained 2.5% in the past one year compared with Zacks classified Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry’s gain of 1.7%.


Per the terms of the deal, Sanofi will gain an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize ImmuNext’s CD40L monoclonal antibody, INX-021. INX-021 is currently in preclinical development. Further, Sanofi and ImmuNext will commence a research collaboration to support studies on the candidate.

The deal will see Sanofi shelling $500 million in potential milestone payments along with tiered royalties up to double digits on sales of products.


Sanofi possesses a diversified product portfolio with a presence in several therapeutic areas including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, oncology, and CNS disorders, among others and possesses a diversified product portfolio. The company has also been progressing with new product launches.

Among the recently approved drugs, Lemtrada and Aubagio, Sanofi’s oral treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), look promising. The oral dosing of Aubagio provides MS patients with an additional and convenient treatment option. Both Lemtrada and Aubagio possess significant commercial potential.

Sanofi has also significantly stepped up its acquisition and alliance activity over the past few years. The company diversified into the rare diseases segment with the Genzyme deal, which provided the company with a new source of growth.

We remind investors that Impax Laboratories, Inc. IPXL recently filed an abbreviated new drug application with the FDA seeking approval for its generic version of Aubagio. Meanwhile, Sanofi has also filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Impax in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Sanofi currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Epizyme, Inc. EPZM and Kite Pharma, Inc. KITE. Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kite Pharma’s loss estimates narrowed 2.14% and 0.15% in 2016 and 2017 respectively over last 60 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in two of the four trailing quarters, with an average beat of 7.89%.

Epizyme’s loss estimates narrowed 3% and 2.36% in 2016 and 2017 respectively over last 60 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters, with an average beat of 11.43%. Its share price was up 18.6% in the past one year.

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