On his 100th day as Sanofi's CEO, Paul Hudson gave the first substantive glimpse of how he plans to shake up the French pharma giant, presenting his strategy Tuesday to investors.
Broadly, Hudson said he will bring focus to Sanofi, one of the industry's more sprawling companies with 100,000 employees involved in everything from over-the-counter products to vaccine research to virtual diabetes clinics. The market responded favorably to the pitch, with Sanofi shares trading up 5% Tuesday morning.
After months of winding down diabetes and cardiovascular programs, Hudson said Sanofi will stop all research in those disease areas.
"We are proud of our past, what we did and what we achieved, but it shouldn't dictate some poor investment decisions because we're still looking backwards," he added.
This also means Sanofi will not launch its GLP-1 diabetes medication called efpeglenatide and instead seek a partner to commercialize the drug.
Throughout his remarks, Hudson, a former Novartis and AstraZeneca executive, acknowledged Sanofi's recent shortcomings, referencing Wall Street analysts who in the past few years have called into question the company's focus, ability to execute, build a compelling pipeline and grow the business.
Hudson blamed bureaucracy as hindering the company, and his restructuring as bringing a reset of sorts.
"We've been overmatrixed. We've been slow. We haven't empowered enough," he said, adding the company has procrastinated on making some tough decisions.
Hudson also aims to reduce costs by 2 billion euros, or about $2.2 billion, by 2022.
These savings will come from spending less on company expenses like travel, consultants and training costs, a reduced investment in deprioritized businesses like diabetes and cardiovascular, and manufacturing improvements. It was not clear if this would result in layoffs at the company.
Additionally, Sanofi and Regeneron announced plans Tuesday to restructure their multi-year collaboration into a simpler, royalty-based agreement.
While the Dupixent collaboration remains unchanged, Regeneron will gain U.S. rights to Praluent, while Sanofi will take rest-of-world rights on the cholesterol drug and global rights to the rheumatoid arthritis treatment Kevzara. The companies expect this change to be finalized in the first quarter of 2020.
A large part of Sanofi's focus, unsurprisingly, will be centered on Dupixent. Hudson set a new peak sales target of exceeding 10 billion euros, or about $11 billion, for the biologic.
Reiterating the 'pipeline in a product' mantra, Sanofi and Regeneron are planning on securing several label expansions in the next few years in dermatology, respiratory and other Type 2 inflammation indications.
The pharma also highlighted six experimental drugs it will prioritize. While Hudson's pitch repeatedly came back to focus, the six pipeline assets had no specific therapeutic focus, spanning oncology, rare disease, blood disorders, vaccines and neurology.
|Drug||Lead indication||Expected filing date||Recent updates|
|Fitusiran||hemophilia A and B||2021||>70% enrolled in ATLAS Phase 3 program|
|BIV001||hemophilia A||2022||Started Phase 3 trial in December 2019|
|Venglustat||lysosomal storage disorders||2022||Ongoing Phase 3 study in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease|
|SERD ('859)||breast cancer||2023 (first line if accelerated approval)||Potential submission as second- or third-line therapy in second half of 2021|
|Nirsevimab||respiratory syncytial virus||2023||Pivotal data set to readout in first half of 2023|
|BTKi ('168)||multiple sclerosis||2024||Expected proof-of-concept readout in first quarter of 2020. If positive, could trigger 4 Phase 3 trials.|