PARIS, July 31 Sanofi-aventis announces solidgrowth in the second quarter.
Increase in 2008 Guidance
Barring major adverse events, sanofi-aventis expects 2008 full-yearadjusted EPS excluding selected items(1) to grow around 8%, calculated atconstant 2007 euro/dollar parity (1.371).
Sensitivity to the euro/dollar exchange rate is estimated at 0.5% ofgrowth for a 1-cent movement in the exchange rate.
2008 second-quarter and first-half net sales
Unless otherwise indicated, all sales growth figures in this press releaseare stated on a comparable basis.
Sanofi-aventis generated second-quarter net sales of euro 6,689 million,up 5.2%. Exchange rate movements had an unfavorable effect of 6.5 points, ofwhich nearly 75% was due to the U.S. dollar. Changes in Group structure had anunfavorable effect of 2.3 points, which includes the end of commercializationby the Group of Copaxone(R) in the United States and Canada under theagreements with Teva. On a reported basis, net sales fell by 3.6%.
First-half net sales rose by 2.9% to euro 13,626 million. Exchange ratemovements had an unfavorable effect of 5.5 points, of which nearly 80% was dueto the U.S. dollar. Changes in Group structure had an unfavorable effect of0.9 of a point. Excluding these effects, net sales fell by 3.5% on a reportedbasis.
Net sales by business segment - Pharmaceuticals
Second-quarter net sales for the pharmaceuticals business grew 4.1% toreach euro 6,032 million, supported by the performance of our flagshipproducts and by the resilience of the rest of our portfolio. Net sales of thetop 15 products were 5.8% higher at euro 4,027 million, while net sales of theother products in the portfolio rose by 0.8% to euro 2,005 million.
First-half net sales for the pharmaceuticals business were up 2.3% at euro12,421 million. Net sales of the top 15 products were up 3.7% at euro 8,349million. Excluding the impact of the introduction of generics(2) of Ambien(R)IR in the United States and Eloxatin(R) in Europe, first-half growth for thetop 15 products would have reached 9.6%. The other products in the portfolioreported modest first-half decrease of 0.5%, to euro 4,072 million.
Comments by product
Lovenox(R), the leading low molecular weight heparin on the market,reported moderate growth in net sales in the second quarter.
In the United States, following a surge in sales in the a first quarter(due partly to wholesalers buying buffer stocks in response to the withdrawalof some unfractionated heparins), net sales of Lovenox(R) rose by a moremodest 6.5% in the second quarter to euro 379 million.
In Europe, we were unable to fully meet demand for the product in thesecond quarter due to the withdrawal of some batches in which low levels ofimpurities were detected. Shipments are expected to return to normal levels inthe third quarter.
The impact of heparin short supply neutralized over H1 2008 period,Lovenox sales were up 12.9% at euro 1 354 million.
Net sales of Lantus(R), the world's leading insulin brand, rose by 27.2%in the second quarter to euro 576 million. In the United States, the productreported growth of 26.2% to euro 328 million, boosted by LantusSoloSTAR(R).
The results of the TULIP study, presented to the American DiabetesAssociation (ADA) in June, confirmed the importance of promptly initiatinginsulin treatment when patients with type 2 diabetes are unable to achieverecommended glycemic targets with diet, exercise and oral diabetes medicationsalone. In this study, 66% of patients who began treatment with Lantus(R)achieved A1C of <7%, the ADA's recommended target for glycemic control, whileonly 38% of patients from the lifestyle management arm were able to achievethe recommended target levels.
Taxotere(R) again achieved double-digit growth in the second quarte