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Sanofi (SNY - Analyst Report) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN - Analyst Report) recently presented data from two phase Ib trials evaluating dupilumab (REGN668/SAR231893) for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) who did not receive sufficient benefit with existing topical treatments. The data was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The randomized phase Ib trials (n = 67) assessed the safety of dupilumab in three different doses (75mg, 150mg, 300mg) for 8 weeks. The companies also evaluated dupilumab in other parameters including efficacy, pharmacokinetic and biomarker.

The results showed that nasopharyngitis and headache were the most common side effects associated with the use of dupilumab. The efficacy profile of the candidate was encouraging.

Sanofi and Regeneron plan to present data from a 12-week phase 2a trial and a phase 2b trial evaluating dupilumab for AD later in 2013. We note that the companies are also evaluating the candidate for eosinophilic asthma (phase II).

Sanofi and Regeneron have a successful partnership history since 2003. The companies are collaborating for Zaltrap (aflibercept), which is approved both in the US (Aug 2012) and EU (Feb 2013) as a combination therapy (with 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan – FOLFIRI) for treating patients suffering from metastatic colorectal cancer who are either resistant or whose disease has progressed following treatment with an oxaliplatin-containing regimen.

Sanofi and Regeneron both carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the short run. Right now, Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Analyst Report) and Shire plc (SHPG - Analyst Report) look more attractive in the pharma space with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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