Sanofi backs annual guidance as Dupixent sales soar in Q1

Headline results for the first quarter:

  • Prescription drug sales: €6.6 billion ($8 billion), down 3%
  • Overall revenue: €8.6 billion ($10.4 billion), down 4.3%
  • Profit: €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion; forecasts of €1.2 billion), down 7%

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

"Our strong first-quarter performance is the result of the continued execution of our…strategy to drive growth and bring innovative medicines to patients," CEO Paul Hudson remarked. The executive noted "Dupixent continues its outstanding performance with impressive growth in the US and strong uptake in global markets, including China."

Other results:

  • Specialty care unit: €2.9 billion ($3.5 billion), up 7.3%
    • Dupixent: €1 billion ($1.2 billion), up 34.9%, with US sales rising 41.6% on a constant exchange rate (CER) basis to €793 million ($957 million)
    • Aubagio: €500 million ($603 million), down 7.6%, as a result of increased competition in the US
    • Eloctate: €134 million ($162 million), down 16.8%, mainly due to lower US sales amid ongoing competitive pressure
  • Diabetes unit: €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion), down 8.2%
    • Lantus: €652 million ($787 million), down 9.9%, hit by a decline in average US net price, increased use of Toujeo, biosimilar competition and lower EU sales
    • Toujeo: €253 million ($305 million), down 1.6%, with growth from the launch in China offset by lower sales in Europe
  • Oncology products: €221 million ($267 million), up 18.8%, with new launches Sarclisa and Libtayo generating sales of €34 million ($41 million) and €26 million ($31 million), respectively
  • Praluent: €56 million ($68 million), down 23.3%, with lower sales in the US reflecting the restructuring of a collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
  • Vaccines division: €915 million ($1.1 billion), up 0.7%, driven by the Polio/Pertussis/Hib franchise and demand for influenza vaccines in the southern hemisphere
  • Consumer healthcare: €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion), down 14.4%, due to COVID-19-related stocking in the prior quarter, coupled with "low demand" for cough and cold brands in Europe
  • Sales in China: €726 million ($876 million), up 8.4% on a CER basis

Looking ahead:

Sanofi continues to expect business earnings per share to grow in the high-single digits this year on a CER basis.

What analysts said:

Analysts at Bryan Garnier noted that Sanofi's first-quarter earnings were ahead of expectations despite a tough comparable period, which was boosted by patient stockpiling ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Citi analysts suggested that the drugmaker's guidance for 2021 was increasingly looking conservative and they expect it to be raised later this year.

Pipeline updates:

 

Sanofi disclosed that the FDA extended the target review date for its avalglucosidase alfa marketing application in Pompe disease by three months to August 18. The filing for the long-term enzyme replacement therapy had been granted priority review last year.

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