Sanofi stays on course as it once again delivers strong results in the first quarter with business EPS up 9.4% at constant exchange rates, a trajectory that is propelled by double-digit growth in Specialty Care, Vaccines and Emerging Markets.
Sales from Sanofi Genzyme, our Specialty Care business, grew by 30.8%, driven predominantly by Dupixent®, which continues to be a main player with sales reaching €329m. This 186.9% rise in sales reflects the continued growth in adult Atopic Dermatitis (AD) and successful launches in asthma and–most recently–adolescent AD. First-quarter sales in Europe were €36 million compared to €10 million this time last year.
Vaccines were also a strong player this quarter. Sales increased 20.1%, driven by Polio/Pertussis/Hib, and meningitis and pneumo vaccines, including Menactra in Emerging Markets (EM), as well as the recovery and growth of Pentaxim in China.
As projected last quarter, EM continued to be an important driver, with sales up 13.6%. Continued growth in this market is the latest proof of the success of our new business unit, China & Emerging Markets, particularly as we saw a 22.3% rise in growth in China.
In addition to the recovery in Pentaxim® supply, sales in China benefited from continued demand for Plavix® and Avapro® ahead of the implementation of the volume-based procurement program in key cities at the end of the first quarter. This is expected to result in lower growth rates for Plavix® and Avapro® for the full year 2019.
While EM sales were mainly driven by Vaccines and Rare Diseases, Consumer Healthcare (CHC) and Primary Care sales also bolstered performance in this market.
CHC sales grew by 0.6%, with the majority of its success stemming from EM, where growth of 8.1% was driven by Latin America, Russia and China. Primary Care GBU sales were down 17.0% (-11.8% at CER/CS) impacted by lower diabetes sales and divestiture of EU generics.
The US launch of Libtayo®, the first and only FDA-approved therapy for advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer in the US, has proceeded smoothly. European approval is expected in Q2.
Cablivi®, the first drug approved for acquired TTP, a rare clotting disorder, saw first-quarter sales from Germany and France total €5m with more launches underway across Europe. It recently launched in the US.
Looking ahead, we anticipate approval in the US for Dupixent® in adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, an allergic and respiratory disease, and we expect milestones on sutimlimab in Cold Agglutinin Disease, ZynquistaTM in type 2 diabetes and isatuximab in refractory multiple myeloma.
And there’s more to come: at the end of April 2019, the R&D pipeline contained 84 projects.