Sanofi: Timeout for Campath
Enlarge image


Sanofi: Timeout for Campath

21.08.2012 - Sanofi withdraws a cancer drug from the markets and aims for a relaunch in multiple sclerosis.

Sanofi is withdrawing its cancer drug Campath from the markets. The pharma plans to commercialise the antibody under a different name and dosing regime for multiple sclerosis – a much more lucrative indication.

The development of Campath-1H, also known under its generic name alemtuzumab, as a successful drug took years. The anti-CD52 antibody was thought to cure rheumatoid arthritis in the beginning of the 90s but failed expectations. Since 2001, it has finally been approved for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Since then it also washes some money into Sanofi’s subsidiary Genzyme Corp. from Cambridge (USA). But revenues have been decling over the past years. Therefore Sanofi is now aiming for fresh money and a higher pricing. In a move to prevent off-label use the drug has now been pulled from European (in mid-August) and US markets (in early September) markets.

In both regions the market authorisation applications (MAAs) for a use in multiple sclerosis are pending. According to the pharma company clearing the market should ensure that „alemtuzumab is exclusively received and used in the ongoing clinical trials.“ Obviously, Sanofi thinks that a widely merchandised drug could jeopardise these trials. Alemtuzumab awaits its repeated market entry under the name Lemtrada. However, the German society for haematology and oncology (DGHO) criticises Sanofi for playing one group of patients against another. Sanofi responded that all leukaemia patients (so far about 4.000) will benefit from free-of-charge programmes that make sure that all patients receive their much needed medicine. In Germany, according to the DGHO, these programmes run so far quite smoothly even if they mean an increased bureaucratic effort.


26.11.2015 Bioeconomy movers and shakers from every corner of the globe met this week at the world’s first Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin to discuss, debate and define better ways to ensure the bioeconomy succeeds on an international level.


24.11.2015 After weeks of speculation it is official: US pharma major Pfizer and Irish Botox maker Allergan will merge. With the deal, Pfizer is planning to dodge the high US taxes, causing indignation among US politicians.


23.11.2015 Amidst talk of the IPO window closing and cancelled flotations, diagnostics firms are still striking a chord with investors. Swedish Immunovia and German Curetis are successfully raising public money.


20.11.2015 French Sanofi and British AstraZeneca are giving open innovation a go: The two pharma giants will exchange thousands of compounds – for free.


19.11.2015 French gene editing company Cellectis has granted Servier the rights to bring cancer immunotherapy UCART19 to market. Servier in turn has teamed up with Pfizer to hurry development along.


17.11.2015 The first Italian accelerator specifically for biotech projects has been launched with help from Sofinnova Partners. The plan of BiovelocITA: to help Italy grow into one of Europe’s strongest biotech markets.


13.11.2015 Scientists in Bath, UK, have developed a medical dressing that turns fluorescent green when it detects infection. The researchers hope that the smart burns dressing will help fight antibiotic resistance.


13.11.2015 Out with the old: Roche is discarding four sites with 1,200 staff in an effort to restructure its manufacturing network for small molecules. Instead, a new manufacturing site will be built in Switzerland.


10.11.2015 Algae have many skills, but cancer fighting was not one of them – until now. Researchers from Australia and Germany have genetically engineered diatom algae to accurately deliver chemotherapeutic drugs.


10.11.2015 AstraZeneca has plucked Californian biopharma company ZS Pharma from under Actelion’s nose. The UK company is paying US$2.7bn (€2.5bn) to acquire ZS and its promising hyperkalaemia treatment currently under US regulatory review.


All Events


Strasbourg (F)

BioFIT 2015

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week


Stock list

All quotes


  • EPIGENOMICS (D)2.26 EUR20.86%
  • SAREUM HOLDINGS (UK)0.21 GBP10.53%


  • THERAMETRICS (CH)0.04 CHF-20.00%
  • CO.DON (D)2.35 EUR-7.84%
  • DIAMYD MEDICAL -B- (S)9.40 SEK-6.00%


  • PLETHORA (UK)5.50 GBP76.3%
  • CELLECTIS (F)30.25 EUR34.9%
  • PROTHENA PLC (IE)73.19 USD34.8%


  • EPIGENOMICS (D)2.26 EUR-48.5%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.09 GBP-40.0%


  • KARO BIO (S)37.80 SEK5300.0%
  • CHRONTECH PHARMA (S)0.34 SEK1600.0%
  • GALAPAGOS (B)46.32 EUR258.0%


  • BIOTEST (D)15.77 EUR-80.4%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.09 GBP-78.6%

No liability assumed, Date: 27.11.2015