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Sanofi's CEO On Cancer Research, Coronavirus Vaccine Progress

Sanofi's CEO On Cancer Research, Coronavirus Vaccine Progress

Despite a global pandemic, Sanofi SA (NASDAQ: SNY) is able to continue its research and development — and it is "essential" to continue showing success in trials, CEO Paul Hudson said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Sanofi's Momentum In Oncology

Sanofi's existing oncology trials are ongoing, and this helped create some new momentum, Hudson said.

Most notably, a trial of Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's (NASDAQ: REGN) lung cancer drug Libtayo cut the risk of death by more than 30% among certain patients, he said.

"We have a very competitive profile to Keytruda," the CEO said.

"We are already ahead in some of the deadliest skin conditions but now we get to compete for the first time in lung, which has got to be great news for patients."

Hudson Says Momentum Extends Beyond Lung Cancer  

The European Union announced Tuesday it approved Sanofi's Sarclisa for adults with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Sanofi is also on deck to release data from its Ikema clinical trial, which will put the company in a "very competitive profile versus the market leader," Hudson said.

"Sanofi is a little bit back in oncology is what I would say with some new mechanisms around the corner as well," he said.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Sanofi acknowledges it is "a little bit further behind" rivals, as it expects to start human clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, Hudson said.

At the same time, Sanofi is the only company using a proven platform with a virus technology that increases the probability of success, the CEO said. 

"It will come a bit later but we know it's going to play a big part."

The stock was up 0.81% at $49.89 at the close Tuesday. 

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