By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com -- Shares in Sanofi SA (EPA: SASY ) climbed by more than 5%, as analysts noted the "blockbuster potential" of the French drugmaker's asthma and eczema medicine Dupixent after results from a Phase 3 trial showed it met all targets in treating so-called "smoker's lung."
Sanofi said Dupixent, which it developed in conjunction with U.S. biotech firm Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN ), showed a "clinically meaningful and highly significant" reduction in moderate or severe cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an ailment that can cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems.
In a joint statement, Sanofi and Regeneron credited a "bold" decision to bring Dupixent to Phase 3 testing for shaving off years of standard clinical development.
"These results also validate the role type 2 inflammation plays in driving COPD in these patients, advancing the scientific community’s understanding of the underlying biology of this disease," said Regeneron president and chief scientific officer George Yancopoulos.
According to the companies, the trial saw a randomized group 939 adults who were current or former smokers aged 40 to 80 years old receive either Dupixent or a placebo. Those patients who took Dupixent saw a 30% fall in COPD exacerbations over a 52-week period, as well as improved lung function.
Analysts at Jefferies called the readout from the trial "impressive," adding that it sets the stage for Dupixent to be the first biologic drug with a "substantial market opportunity." Earnings per share estimates, the Jefferies analysts said, should see continued upgrades in the wake of the trial.
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