Issue Date: May 4, 2009
Sanofi Overhauls Late-Stage Pipeline
Sanofi-Aventis is overhauling its pipeline to channel its resources toward what it considers to be more promising projects. The French pharma firm is discontinuing research on 14 drug and vaccine candidates, including seven in Phase II or III trials, after a portfolio review deemed them less innovative, competitive, or effective than existing drugs. Among the Phase III projects being cut are saredutant, a neurokinin-2 receptor antagonist being developed as an antidepressant; AVE5530, a cholesterol-absorption inhibitor that works like Merck & Co.'s Zetia; and a pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. With the cuts, Sanofi now has 51 candidates in clinical trials, although it may shed up to four more products in the coming months.
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