Sanofi axes cancer combo, early next-gen diabetes drug

Sanofi
Sanofi said it was culling a combination therapy of its approved oncology monoclonal antibody (mAb) Libtayo alongside its phase 3 experimental anti-CD38 mAb isatuximab in “advanced malignancies.” (Sanofi)

If you’ve been paying attention this week, you’ve seen that nearly every Big Pharma has been sweeping out dead R&D projects: Sanofi, posting its third-quarter data early this morning, is no different.

In its financial results, the French Big Pharma said it was culling a combination therapy of its approved oncology monoclonal antibody (mAb) Libtayo alongside its phase 3 experimental anti-CD38 mAb isatuximab in “advanced malignancies.” The combo had been axed in prostate and lung cancer tests.

Libtayo already has the green light for lung cancer, a form of skin cancer and myeloma, while isatuximab, developed with biotech Immunogen, is under FDA review for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM), with a PDUFA falling in April next year.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Sanofi said this was due to "efficacy considerations," but not concerns over safety. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, it is still being tested in relapsed/refractory MM.

It’s also discontinued work on SAR441255, a trigonal GLP1R/GIPR/GCGR that was in a phase 1 for diabetes/obesity.

This mechanism is gaining ground with its rivals, with Lilly last year posting positive midstage data from its GIP/GLP-1 agonist LY3298176, with several others in phase 1 with their GIP/GCGR/GLP-1 agonists, including Novo Nordisk and Hanmi.

Sanofi’s effort was preclinical last year, but, according to its second-quarter report, starting its phase 1 in the summer. Again, it did not say why it had been removed.

In its results today, Sanofi said it was “well on track,” with sales hitting €9.5 billion ($10.6 billion) for the quarter, up around 1% on a reported basis (but down on CER), and R&D spend at €1.36 billion, also down on this time last year.

Suggested Articles

By employing heart rate signals, physical activity and sleep quality, common Fitbit trackers may be able to predict the spread of the flu.

Nanox has raised $26 million to help fuel the development and commercialization of its Star Trek-inspired digital X-ray bed.

Oncology is clearly a major medical and societal issue, but one that sees too much focus from biopharmas at the expense of other killers.