) recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has cleared its quadrivalent formulation of Fluzone. The
four-strain influenza vaccine has been approved for treating
children above six months in addition to adolescents and adults.
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Sanofi expects Fluzone Quadrivalent to be available in the US for
the influenza season 2013-2014. The intramuscular vaccine will be
available in pre-filled syringes and single-dose vials.
We remind investors that
) intranasal influenza vaccine FluMist Quadrivalent and
) intramuscular vaccine Fluarix Quadrivalent are already approved
in the US. While, FluMist Quadrivalent can be used in people in
the age group of 2 - 49 years, Fluarix Quadrivalent is
recommended for adults and children aged 3 years and above.
We believe Fluzone Quadrivalent targeting children above six
months will give Sanofi an edge over other vaccines and help the
company to capture market share.
We note that Sanofi possesses one of the world's leading vaccine
operations, with total sales of €697 million in the first quarter
of 2013, up 15.9% from the year ago quarter. 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 carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We remain concerned about
the generic erosion confronting most of Sanofi's key drugs
including Plavix, Avapro, Lovenox, Taxotere, Eloxatin and Xatral.
The genericization of Avapro and Plavix is expected to negatively
impact Sanofi's business net income by around €800 million in the
first half of 2013.
Sanofi is looking to combat headwinds by containing operating
costs. Additionally, new product launches should make significant
revenue contributions in the upcoming quarters.
Companies that currently look attractive include
), carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).