UPDATE 1-Sanofi points to positive results for Sarilumab drug

Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:31am EDT

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PARIS, June 12 (Reuters) - French drug maker Sanofi and its partner Regeneron on Thursday said they had obtained positive phase three results for their Sarilumab rheumatoid arthritis drug.

Sarilumab is an injectable antibody that works by blocking an inflammation-causing protein called interleukin 6. It is similar to Actemra, Roche's fast-growing treatment approved in 2010.

Sarilumab, alongside cholesterol drug alirocumab, is one of the products Sanofi is developing under its partnership with U.S. biotech Regeneron to offset the loss of patents on once top-selling drugs like blood thinner Plavix.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation and pain in the joints. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Blaise Robinson and Ryan Woo)

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