We're used to seeing Sanofi and Genzyme's names bandied about in relation to Sanofi's attempted hostile acquisition of Genzyme. But this week, both companies reported the clinical results from leading drug candidates in their late stage pipelines - both of which treat MS.
Genzyme reported on a five year data set with its drug, alemtuzumab. Also known as Campath, the study looked a remission rates in MS patients who have been followed for 5 years. Eighty-seven (87%) percent of these patients showed no worsening of symptoms. These is good news for the patients and good news for Genzyme. By contrast, Campath's chief rival drug, Rebif, showed no worsening of symptoms in only 62 percent of patients. Campath is considered to be a "crown jewel" in the Genzyme pipeline - one that attracts Sanofi as an investor - and one the Termeer has cited as a reason to stick around at least through the summer of 2011. Analysts have pegged the drug as having peak sales potential in $1.6 B - $2 B range.
Sanofi reported yesterday on the results of a 2 year follow up study with its MS drug, teriflunomide, and also reported a significant cut in relapses. The Phase III study for the once-daily oral drug showed a 31% reduction in relapse rate versus the placebo at two doses. The risk of disability progression was also reduced. The Sanofi product offers another potential treatment option in a more convenient oral dose form. Of course, if Sanofi captures Genzyme the combined enitity will have a very much strengthened MS portfolio. See Fierce Biotech here and here.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Ocotber 16th 2010.