French drugmaker Sanofi (SNYNF) said it is exploring additional growth opportunities for its Dupixent drug, which it is developing together with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc (REGN).
Sanofi is marking the drug as one of its top growth drivers with expected peak sales of €10 billion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May approved Dupixent for the treatment of dermatitis in children. The drugmaker said that recent evidence supports additional clinical uses in diseases driven by type 2 inflammation including eosinophilic esophagitis and a subset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“While atopic dermatitis and asthma are the foundational diseases where Dupixent was first approved for use, great opportunity exists across multiple diseases where type 2 inflammation plays a role,” said John Reed, Global Head of Research and Development, at Sanofi. “We are therefore aggressively pursuing clinical evaluation of additional indications where patients are urgently awaiting solutions for their unmet medical needs.”
Dupixent is a fully-human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signalling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) proteins, and is not an immunosuppressant.
Other treatments for which Dupixent is being explored and tested are prurigo nodularis (PN), which is a skin disease resulting in intense itching, chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), a common condition characterized by the recurrent appearance of highly itchy hives with or without angioedema, and bullous pemphigoid (BP), a rare autoimmune skin disease with type 2 inflammatory features, including fluid-filled blisters.
Shares in Sanofi have more than recouped all of this year’s earlier losses and are now trading slightly higher than at the start of the year. The stock fell about 1% to $102.04 on Wednesday.
Goldman Sachs analyst Keyur Parekh, who has a Buy rating on the stock with a $120.69 price target, noted the drugmaker’s “encouraging” long-term strategies, with the focus this year falling on the uptake of its main growth driver Dupixent, the delivery of its expected operating margin improvement to 30%, and the execution of its late-stage pipeline.
In line with Parekh’s rating, the stock scores 11 Buys from analysts versus 2 Holds which make up a Strong Buy consensus. The $116.33 average analyst price target implies shares have room to advance another 14% over the coming year. (See Sanofi stock analysis on TipRanks).
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