Sanofi suffers multiple sclerosis setback


French pharmaceutical Sanofi has run into trouble after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected its multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada (alemtuzumab). The agency said that its rejection of alemtuzumab was the result of poor Phase III clinical trial design and side effects that outweigh the potential benefits.

When Sanofi bought Genzyme for more than $20 billion (£12 billion) in February 2011, additional milestone payments were agreed, depending on the success of alemtuzumab. The monoclonal antibody was approved to treat multiple sclerosis in the EU in September 2013, leading to expectations that the FDA would follow suit in the US.

Without the US market, Lemtrada is very unlikely to meet sales targets, and consequently Sanofi’s share price fell by 1.1%. Furthermore, one US law firm is launching a class action on behalf of investors, claiming the French company made misleading statements about the prospects for alemtuzumab.

In a press release, a spokesperson for Genzyme stated that they strongly disagree with the conclusions and plan to appeal against the FDA’s decision.


Related Content

2012 pharma industry roundup

3 January 2013 Business

news image

What were the bigger stories? And how did the industry fare overall?

Sanofi to buy Genzyme in $20 billion deal

17 February 2011 News Archive

news image

Sanofi-Aventis wins over Genzyme board with $1.5 billion increase to August 2010 bid

Most Read

UC Davis chemist sentenced to four years over explosion

19 November 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Postdoc sentenced over attempt to make explosive device and reckless disposal of hazardous waste

Spanish fly

10 October 2013 Podcast | Compounds

news image

Helen Scales looks at cantharidin, the active ingredient in this famous aphrodisiac

Most Commented

Beetle behind breath test for bank notes

17 November 2014 Research

news image

Photonic crystal inks inspired by longhorn beetle could help to fight counterfeiting

Bayer wins race to buy Merck & Co consumer care

9 May 2014 Business

news image

$14bn deal will make Aspirin inventor the number two over-the-counter healthcare company