With a strong contribution from the anti-inflammatory drug Dupixent and influenza vaccines, Sanofi SA was able to increase both sales and operating profit in 2022, paving the way for future investment. Sales were €42.9 billion in 2022, up by 13.9% from a year earlier. Measured in constant exchange rates, the increase was 7%. Operating profit was €8.5 billion, up by 5% on the basis of International Financial Reporting Standards.
Novartis spent 2022 executing a reorganisation that will see it spin off Sandoz, its generics and biosimilars business, into a separately incorporated Swiss company. The spin-off is set to take place in the second half of this year, the company has confirmed. This is the first of two pillars of a new structure that will see the parent company focus exclusively on proprietary medicines.
2022 was a time of structural change for GSK Plc, putting it on the path for a tighter focus on the development of specialty medicines and vaccines. The year was marked by the demerger of the company’s consumer healthcare business, the acquisition of two specialty medicine companies, and record sales for the shingles vaccine Shingrix.
The Roche Group reported a 1% growth in sales to CHF 63.3 billion ($69.4 billion) in 2022 as revenue from new products overtook the impact of biosimilar competition and a drop in demand for Covid-19 products. At constant exchange rates, the increase was 2%. In a call with investors on 2 February, Severin Schwan, the outgoing chief executive, said the company had achieved good results, despite considerable headwinds. Sales are expected to decline this year due to a sharp decline in Covid-19 product revenue of about CHF 5 billion.
Grey Wolf Therapeutics Ltd, a biotech company launched in 2017 to develop a new way of targeting solid tumours, has raised $49 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round to bring its first product into the clinic. The financing was co-led by Pfizer Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital with support from new and existing investors. The company has generated a pipeline of small molecule drugs that inhibit enzymes which play an important role in the presentation of cancer antigens to the immune system. The enzymes are endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases 1 and 2.
Merck & Co Inc has stopped a trial of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) which was being investigated to treat prostate cancer as part of a combination therapy with the hormone medicine enzalutamide and androgen deprivation therapy. The decision was based on the recommendation of the trial’s independent data monitoring committee on the basis of data from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-991 trial. The decision was announced on 25 January.
Ahead of its launch as an independent Swiss company, Sandoz AG is strengthening its portfolio of generic medicines with the proposed acquisition of micafungin sodium (Mycamine), an antifungal medicine used to treat invasive candidiasis and oespophageal candidiasis. The prospective transaction is with Astellas Pharma Inc of Japan.
Bayer AG has capped a three-year research partnership with Blackford Analysis Ltd of the UK with an offer to buy the company and expand its presence in the field of medical imaging. The financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. Spun-out from the University of Edinburgh in 2010, Blackford has annual revenue estimated at $5 million.
Sanofi SA has expanded a collaboration with CytoReason Ltd, the Israeli technology company, to include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a project that uses artificial intelligence to discover novel disease targets. The two companies have been working together since 2021, initially to identify targets for treating asthma.
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a complete response letter (CRL) to Eli Lilly and Company for its application for an accelerated approval of the investigative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease donanemab. A CRL is a formal notice to a company in which the agency explains why it cannot accept an application for a drug approval, usually citing deficiencies in the application itself. Donanemab is a monoclonal antibody that targets beta amyloid plaque in the brain for the treatment of patients with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.