France’s Sanofi Logs 6.2% Jump in China Revenue in First Quarter on Strong Drug Sales

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi’s China sales soared 6.2 percent in the first three months from a year ago, driven by an uptick in sales of its drugs, and in particular Dupixent, a treatment for dermatitis.

Sanofi, which gained approvals for 12 products and indications in China last year, raked in revenue of EUR757 million (USD810 million) in the three months ended March 31 in the country, accounting for over 7 percent of global sales, according to its latest financial report.

Dupixent, which has been approved for the treatment of five indications in the dermatology field as well as for asthma, logged sales of EUR2.8 billion (USD3 billion) in the first quarter, accounting for 27.1 percent of all product sales.

“We achieved our five-year plan ahead of schedule last year, largely thanks to the favorable policy environment in China,” Shi Wang, president of Sanofi China, told Yicai on April 24.

Sanofi is considering how to expedite the inclusion of approved products into China’s vast medical insurance scheme, Shi said. It is also exploring ways to bring medicines that have gained regulatory approval abroad into China faster.

For example, the firm has applied for Dupixent to go to market with the indication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease simultaneously in the US and China. Shi said he expects this to be approved in China by June, which would open up a market of around 100 million patients.

Sanofi, which is engaged in the fields of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer healthcare, entered China in 1982 and currently has 12 offices, three production sites, four research and development centers, and one digital innovation center in the country.

The Paris-based firm’s rapid expansion in China is also thanks to the continuous optimization of the business environment for foreign companies by the Chinese government.

Chemically synthesized drugs by foreign drug makers that are produced in China will be prioritized for review by the healthcare authority for inclusion in its medical bulkbuy scheme, the National Medical Products Administration said April 23.

This is a very positive step by the Chinese government and will greatly improve business, Shi said. Shortening the approval process will assist overseas firms in their operations and manufacturing in China.

Shi said he hoped there would be more clarification of policies as this would allow better communication with the company headquarters which would allow for more informed decisions to be made, thereby further increasing investment in China.

About Yicai Global

Launched in August 2016, Yicai Global is the English-language news service of Yicai Media Group, the financial news arm of Shanghai Media Group, which is one of China’s largest state-owned media conglomerates. Focused primarily on China’s business world, Yicai Global is dedicated to provide reliable and insightful information and analysis of the economy, finance, tech, startups, and entrepreneurs.

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