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Sanofi and partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. presented positive results from a phase III trial, SARIL-RA-MOBILITY, on pipeline candidate sarilumab.

Both the companies are evaluating the safety and efficacy of sarilumab in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have not shown adequate response to methotrexate (MTX) therapy.

We note that sarilumab was developed using Regeneron's VelocImmune antibody technology.

The data from the study showed that sarilumab increased significant clinical response rates for at least 24 consecutive weeks. In addition, treatment with sarilumab showed sustained improvement in signs and symptoms of RA after 52 weeks, thereby achieving the secondary endpoints of the trial.

It was also observed in the trial that sarilumab demonstrated efficacy at two different doses, both delivered subcutaneously every other week.

We remind investors that sarilumab had met all three co-primary endpoints of the trial in Nov 2013.

We note that Sanofi and Regeneron are conducting a SARIL-RA phase III development program to evaluate the use of sarilumab in the RA indication. The program consists of five trials, namely, SARIL-RA MOBILITY, SARIL-RA TARGET, SARIL-RA COMPARE, SARILRA ASCERTAIN and SARIL-RA EXTEND.

Sanofi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We are encouraged by Sanofi’s efforts to develop its pipeline. Sanofi is facing generic threats for most of its key drugs. Hence, the successful development and commercialization of new products will offset the negative impact of generics on revenues.

Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Allergan and Gilead Sciences . Both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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