Sanofi Singles Out Top Pipeline Prospects, New Cost Cuts

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Hoping to calm restive analysts who are growing increasingly anxious about the slow progress of Sanofi's (NYS: SNY)  pipeline candidates, the Big Pharma company today outlined its six top near-term drug prospects and spelled out an extra 2 billion pounds in cost cuts as Genzyme is integrated into the global organization.

In preparation for today's scheduled presentation to analysts, Sanofi outlined a big vision for the company, promising annual sales growth of 5% from 2012 to 2015. During that time Sanofi could have up to 19 product launches, with Kynamro (mipomersen), Visamerin/Mulsevo (semuloparin), Aubagio (teriflunomide), Zaltrap (aflibercept), Lyxumia (lixisenatide) and Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) leading the way in coming months.

As Sanofi made clear in its release, increasing R&D innovation has been one of CEO Chris Viehbacher's central goals in reorganizing the company. But one key pratfall in the clinic -- with iniparib -- and the slow progress of other potential blockbusters has left analysts wondering how long it will take Sanofi to deliver on its promises to shareholders.

UniCredit Bank's David Evans noted recently that Sanofi is still "underperforming. We believe R&D output is essential to maintain any long-term competitive advantage, even in emerging markets."

"The focus has shifted to 2015 as people try to gain a perspective on the dynamic of the company," Viehbacher told reporters for Bloomberg and other new groups. "We are essentially pointing out a new investment thesis. It is first and foremost based on a return to growth for Sanofi following the patent cliff."

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