) vaccines division, Sanofi Pasteur, recently announced that it has
begun shipping Fluzone vaccine for the 2012-2013 influenza (flu)
season. More than 60 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine
will be supplied to US health care providers during the initial
phase of shipment.
The company believes that the early shipment of Fluzone vaccine
will enable US health care providers to start immunization and also
mitigate their concerns related to the supply of vaccines.
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Sanofi announced that in the 2012-2013 influenza season, Fluzone
will address two new virus strains. Additionally, the company has
developed a new syringe cap for Fluzone, which does not contain
latex, making it usable in individuals with latex allergy.
Fluzone will be available in three formulations, namely Fluzone
vaccine, Fluzone high-dose vaccine and Fluzone intradermal vaccine.
Fluzone vaccine has been in the market for more than 40 years and
is the only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved flu
vaccine available for 6-month-old children. Fluzone high-dose
vaccine, available since 2010, is specifically formulated for
individuals above 65 years.
In May 2011, Fluzone intradermal vaccine was approved by the FDA
for use in individuals between 18 to 64 years of age. The
ultra-fine needle makes Fluzone intradermal vaccine convenient and
easy to administer.
Apart from the above mentioned formulations, Sanofi also has a
candidate, Fluzone QIV, a quadrivalent vaccine for the prevention
of influenza caused by two type A and two type B strains in late
stage development. We note that in March 2012,
) had announced the US approval of FluMist Quadrivalent for the
prevention of influenza caused by two type A and two type B
strains. FluMist Quadrivalent marked the first approval of a
four-strain influenza vaccine by the FDA.
Sanofi possesses one of the world's leading vaccine operations,
with total vaccines sales of €617 million in the first quarter of
2012. 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
We expect Sanofi to continue containing operating costs in order to
increase earnings in the face of weakening sales of some of its key
drugs. We also expect the company to pursue bolt on acquisitions.
We are pleased with the company's efforts to develop its pipeline.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Sanofi. The stock
carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.