) recently presented encouraging data on Lantus (insulin glargine
injection) at the American Diabetes Association. The online
also published the results.
The company presented data from the EASIE (Evaluation of Insulin
Glargine Versus Sitagliptin in Insulin-Naïve Patients) study in
insulin-naïve type II diabetes patients whose disease was not
sufficiently controlled by metformin. The 6-month, open-label,
randomized study evaluated Lantus versus
) Januvia (sitagliptin), in combination with metformin. The drugs
were compared on the basis of reduction in HbA1c, an indicator of
glucose level in the blood.
Results showed that the reduction in HbA1c for Lantus and
Januvia was 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively. Additionally, glycemic
control was higher in patients receiving Lantus as compared to
Lantus, which generated sales of €1.1 billion in the first
quarter of 2012, is one of the most commonly prescribed insulins
worldwide. We believe data from this study will encourage
physicians to prescribe Lantus at an early stage of type II
diabetes in combination with metformin therapy.
Lantus is also available as a pre-filled insulin injection pen,
Lantus SoloSTAR. In the US, Lantus SoloSTAR accounts for 51.1% of
Lantus sales. A few days ago, the company inaugurated a plant in
Beijing for assembling and packaging the product. Sanofi is
planning a $90 million investment in China to increase its share of
the Chinese diabetes market.
We expect Sanofi to continue to contain operating costs in order
to increase earnings in the face of weakening sales of some of its
biggest products. We also expect the company to pursue bolt on
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Sanofi. The stock
carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.
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