Sanofi Pays $315 Million to End Lemtrada Claims
French drugmaker Sanofi has paid $315 million to investors to settle claims it dragged its feet on advancing the development of multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada, which it acquired with the buyout of Genzyme in 2011.
The company did not admit wrongdoing, however. The payout was less than half the $708 million the plaintiffs originally charged they had lost due to the delays.
A group of former Genzyme shareholders sued Sanofi in 2015, charging that it was trying to avoid the agreed-on milestone payments. They said the French pharma had put Lemtrada on a slow path to FDA approval, thereby diverging from the company’s own usual drug-commercialization patterns and those of others in the industry..
Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme for $20 billion was looked as one of biopharma’s most successful buyouts in a decade. Today, analysts said, Genzyme’s drugs are contributing growth to the company’s portfolio as other parts of its business struggle.
One of an increasingly crowded field of MS treatments, Lemtrada was approved by the FDA in November 2014. Sales peaked in 2017 at €474 million). In 2018, the drug generated sales of €402 million.