) recently announced that it has entered into a research
collaboration agreement with the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis
(TB) Drug Development (TB Alliance).
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Sanofi and TB Alliance will work together to speed up the
development of several of Sanofi's novel TB compounds. Sanofi is
developing a vaccine for TB, which is currently in phase I.
We note that several big pharma players including
), Janssen Pharmaceuticals of
Johnson & Johnson
Bayer Healthcare AG
) have inked pacts with TB Alliance.
Currently, TB Alliance has more than 20 development programs
underway, of which 3 candidates are in late stage development.
We remind investors that earlier this month the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) granted priority review status to the new drug
application (NDA) of Janssen's TB candidate, bedaquiline (TMC207).
Janssen is looking to get bedaquiline approved as part of a
combination therapy for pulmonary, multi-drug resistant
tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in adults. FDA approval would make
bedaquiline the first TB candidate to gain approval in more than 40
years. Moreover, bedaquiline would be the first and only treatment
to be approved for MDR-TB.
According to the World Health Organization, TB affected
approximately 8.8 million people in 2010, of which 1.4 million
We are pleased with the company's efforts to develop its pipeline.
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.