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Sanofi’s (SNY - Analyst Report) U.S. consumer healthcare division, Chattem, Inc., recently re-launched an over-the-counter antacid Rolaids in the U.S. Rolaids is now available in both tablets and liquid formulation.

We note that in Jan 2013, Sanofi acquired worldwide rights to Rolaids from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report).

Sanofi is one of the major players in the consumer health care market in the US. The company provides a strong platform for the potential conversion of prescription medicines to OTC status in the U.S. We are positive on the addition of Rolaids to Sanofi’s consumer healthcare portfolio, which includes products such as Allegra over-the-counter, Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Cortizone-10, Selsun Blue, ACT and Unisom.

Sanofi, a large-cap pharma company, carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). We are concerned about the generic threat confronting most of Sanofi’s key drugs. Additionally, recent pipeline failures (oncology candidate - iniparib and anticoagulant - otamixaban) have put immense pressure on Sanofi’s pipeline.

Additionally, Sanofi recently announced its decision to withdraw the new drug application (NDA) for lixisenatide in the U.S. Sanofi is looking to get the drug approved for the treatment of adults with type II diabetes.

The NDA included early interim data from the ongoing ELIXA cardiovascular (CV) outcomes study. The company believes that potential public disclosure will hamper the integrity of the ELIXA CV study, which is expected to be complete in the next 15 months. Sanofi intends to resubmit the NDA for lixisenatide in 2015, post completion of the ELIXA CV study.

Not all large-cap pharma companies are performing as badly as Sanofi. Novo Nordisk (NVO - Analyst Report) and Bayer (BAYRY - Analyst Report) are well placed with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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