Sanofi adds to growing cache of positive PhIII lixisenatide data

Sanofi ($SNY) is adding another fresh set of positive late-stage data for its diabetes drug hopeful lixisenatide, which has been submitted for approval in Europe and is headed to FDA regulators in 2012. Investigators say the treatment, a GLP-1 treatment added to insulin, "safely improved HbA1c with beneficial effects on both post-prandial glucose and body weight."

Sanofi has now released results from nine late-stage programs for the drug, which will be sold as Lyxumia. More than 4,500 patients were recruited for the studies. Provided Sanofi goes on to win extensive approvals, analysts have pegged peak sales at anywhere from $500 million to $900 million. And that would be an important win for Sanofi, which needs to show investors that it can conquer new markets.

"These positive results show that once-daily lixisenatide in combination with Lantus could be an innovative therapeutic option for the treatment of uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes," Pierre Chancel, senior vice-president of Sanofi Diabetes, said in a statement on Tuesday.

This year, Sanofi tapped lixisenatide as one of its most promising late-stage programs. Investigators have turned in several upbeat study results over the course of the year. The pharma giant licensed the treatment from Zealand Pharma.

- check out Sanofi's release
- here's the story from Reuters