Sanofi profits surge but sales hit by generic competition

13th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 13, 2007 (AFP) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis unveiled an 11.1-percent jump in full-year net profit on Tuesday, but said generic competition for its heart drug Plavix had hit sales in the fourth quarter.

PARIS, Feb 13, 2007 (AFP) - French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis unveiled an 11.1-percent jump in full-year net profit on Tuesday, but said generic competition for its heart drug Plavix had hit sales in the fourth quarter.

Adjusted net profit in the full year was 7.04 billion euros (9.16 billion dollars), the group said in a statement. That compared to analysts' predictions of 6.432 billion euros and was higher than the company's own expectations.

But for the fourth quarter, adjusted net profit was 1.377 billion euros, down 4.6 percent from a year earlier, it said.

That decline was due to a slump in sales of Plavix, a drug used to thin blood that is one of Sanofi's most profitable products, owing to competition from a generic version in the United States.

Plavix sales fell by 87.2 percent in the United States in the last three months of 2006 and fell by 26.1 percent over the year as a whole.

Sanofi said it had 18 new drugs and vaccines in the pipeline to be submitted for regulatory approval this year and next, but warned that it would face yet more competition form generic drugs in the years to come.

Aventis also said on Tuesday that it would appeal against a recent US ruling in favour of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and Teva in their challenge of the intellectual property rights over another blood-thinner drug Lovenox.

Last week, the company reported it had lost a patent infringement suit against the generic manufacturers but stressed that it was evaluating options for further legal recourse and would continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article