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Sanofi Q3 results disappoint due to waning diabetes sales

Published on 02/11/17 at 10:00am

Sanofi readjusted its 2017 financial expectations after its third-quarter results came in lower than projected. The company revealed that net profit in the period had fallen by a total of 6.4% to hit €1.57 billion, while overall sales had risen by 4.7% to reach €9.05 billion. This was markedly lower than analyst estimates €2.47 billion expected in profits and €10.85 billion in sales.

A major cause for the fall in profits was the weak performance of the company’s diabetes division, which dropped by 22% in the US to €745 million. A large part of this drop was the marketing trouble surrounding Sanofi’s flagship diabetes drug Lantus, sales of which dropped by 15.5% at a constant exchange rate.

This was primarily due to the fact that the drug is now no longer being reimbursed by top health insurance companies in the US, which are instead opting for cheaper alternatives offered by Mylan – a fact that saw Sanofi launch a lawsuit against the US drugmaker just a week earlier.

Sanofi noted that it expects "an accelerated decline of US diabetes sales in the fourth quarter," projecting a shrinkage of 6-8% per year between 2015 and 2018.

Sanofi Chief Executive Officer, Olivier Brandicourt, commented: "The strong launch of Dupixent in the US, the continued double-digit growth of our Multiple Sclerosis franchise and the performance of our paediatric vaccines were important drivers in the quarter. These positive dynamics, accompanied by robust growth in Emerging Markets and disciplined expense management, offset the decline of our Diabetes franchise. We are pleased by the progress in R&D demonstrated by the positive phase 3 topline results in asthma for Dupixent and the recent advances of cemiplimab, our anti PD-1, in oncology."

Matt Fellows

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