Sanofi Reports Positive Phase III Data on Dengue Vaccine - Analyst Blog


Sanofi 's ( SNY ) vaccines division, Sanofi Pasteur, announced that a phase III efficacy study on its dengue vaccine candidate has met the primary endpoint.

The randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center phase III study enrolled 20,875 children aged between 9 and 16 years in Latin American and Caribbean countries (including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Puerto Rico). The study compared the use of three injections of the dengue vaccine and placebo at intervals of six months.

Data from the study revealed that the use of the dengue vaccine resulted in a 60.8% reduction in dengue disease cases. Additionally, a clinically important reduction in the risk of hospitalization due to dengue (80.3%) was observed. The dengue vaccine candidate also demonstrated efficacy in reducing dengue hemorrhagic fever (the severe form of dengue), which is in line with the data from another pivotal phase III study (Asia), announced earlier this year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 100 million people suffer from dengue infection each year. The WHO has targeted to reduce morbidity and mortality by 25% and 50% by 2020, respectively.

However, there is no specific treatment currently available for this disease, indicating an unmet market need. Sanofi aims to tap this market with its dengue vaccine candidate.

We note that Sanofi possesses one of the world's leading vaccine operations with total sales of €1.3 billion in the first half of 2014. The company's portfolio includes pediatric vaccines, influenza vaccines, adult and adolescent booster vaccines, meningitis vaccines, and travel and endemic vaccines. Sanofi also has a strong position in both seasonal and pre-pandemic influenza vaccines. Sanofi continues to expand its vaccine business. We expect a significant ramp in vaccine sales over the next several years.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Amgen Inc. ( AMGN ), Allergan Inc. ( AGN ) and Gilead Sciences Inc. ( GILD ). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: SNY , AGN , GILD , AMGN

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