Each time Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) reports
results, as they did this morning, one might just expect that one day we would
see some slight share erosion with Lantus. Looking over their third quarter
results which indicated that Lantus sales increased nearly 22%, that day is not
yet here and by all indications Lantus is gaining share.
Taking a page out of their insulin rival
Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) who reported results yesterday, Sanofi has fully embraced
the concept of user friendly pen delivery systems to help boost sales. Besides
the SoloSTAR®, the company has a new pen called the ClikSTAR® coming to the US
In a sign that the company is even more committed
to the diabetes market the company also announced today the creation of a
fully-integrated global diabetes division. Looking at their pipeline it’s also apparent
the company is another believer that to remain competitive in the diabetes
market it’s a must to have a GLP-1 in the pipeline.
As a side note here now that all the major insulin
companies have reported results investors would be wise to notice that the move
towards injectable therapies continues. This is very good news for companies
like Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BD) who reports their fiscal fourth quarter results
November 4. BD is the global leader in needles and syringes and will definitely
benefit from this trend.
Additionally as everyone embraces GLP-1
therapy this is very good news for Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) and Lilly (NYSE:LLY).
On the flip side we see this as bad news for Merck (NYSE:MRK), Bristol Myers
Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) all of whom are pushing DPP-4’s. While
Januvia continues to perform very well, its strong growth could show signs of
slowing as more GLP-1’s come to market. Put side by side even the weakest GLP-1
outperforms any of the DPP-4’s by a wide margin.
The continued success of Lantus proves
without a doubt that type 2 patients are not adverse to injectable therapy
options. This bodes well for Victoza which is injected once-a-day and Byetta
LAR which is injected just once-a-week.
Finally the most gratifying aspect of
Sanofi’s results was there was no noticeable impact from the dubious relation
between Lantus and cancer. It was great
to see the medical community rally to Lantus’s defense. Hopefully this will
send a message to editors of the various medical journals across the globe to
think before they publish.