Sanofi's MS-drug Alemtuzumab meets first primary goal


French drug maker Sanofi SA announced mixed results of a late-stage trial of multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada. The two-year study CARE-MS I is the first of two randomised, Phase 3 clinical trials comparing Sanofi's alemtuzumab to Rebif. The CARE-MS I study incorporated 581 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who had not had prior treatment for their illness and showed that Lemtrada helped patients more than Rebif, Merck KGaA's established multiple sclerosis therapy. The product cut relapse rates by 55 percent over two years compared with Rebif Sanofi said in a statement on Monday. But Lemtrada failed on the second goal; statistically, it is not better than Rebif in helping stave off disability for the duration of the test. Sanofi's shares not unexpectedly fell after the announcement. Another Phase 3 clinical trial, CARE-MS II, is currently underway, evaluating Lemtrada against Rebif in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients who have relapsed while on therapy. The medicine’s prospects were at the heart of the Genzyme takeover talks this year. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Genzyme was projecting peak annual sales of as much as $3.5 billion, saying Lemtrada was likely to become its bestseller. Sanofi said in October that analysts’ estimates of about $700 million were a valuation “probably closer to the reality of the product.” Sanofi expects to file the drug for U.S. and European Union approval in multiple sclerosis in early 2012 and has been granted fast track designation by the U.S. FDA. Sanofi has time. Cash is not the problem. On Monday the French drugmaker revealed it was selling its Dermik dermatology business to Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $425 million.



Luxembourg – Billions of euros spent on so-called Networks of Excellence (NoEs) during the EU’s 6th Framework Programme appear to have brought little return. A new study by the European Court of Auditors has revealed that the...



The management team at London Genetics Ltd has undergone some changes. Dr. Barrie Ward, formerly with GlaxoSmith Kline, will now act as Chairman of the British pharmacogenetics specialist. Dominique Kleyn, who led business...

Politics / Law


With policymakers deep in discussions on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Danish white biotech firm Novozymes have together calculated what biotech can contribute to reducing emissions of...

BioPeople, UKUK


Dr. Laurence Barker will take over the newly created role of Head of Business Development at Syntaxin. He joins the drug developer from MorphoSys AG, where he held the position of Associate Director, Business Development. Prior...



Bejing/Brussels – China is the first country in the world to begin the commercialisation of a locally developed genetically modified (GM) rice variety. On 1 December, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture officially approved...

Politics / Law


With the authorisation on November 30 of the genetically modified (GM) maize MIR604, the European Commission has fulfilled the final requests made by US farming lobby groups and their European counterparts regarding the maize....



Brussels – The European Research Council (ERC) has launched a call to attract top international researchers to EU labs (more...). The proposal deadline for the life sciences arm of the Advanced Investigators Grants, which foresee...

BioPeople, BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg


Jörn Aldag took the helm at Amsterdam Molecular Therapies on October 5th. The company’s new Chief Executive Officer brings along 25 years of experience in corporate management and finance. As the former President and CEO of...

Politics / Law


Brussels – John Dalli from Malta will be given almost all-important competencies, in the area of biotechnology in the next European Commission. The re-elected Commission President Manuel Barroso has concentrated a huge array of...

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