PARIS Dec 20 A U.S. law firm is launching a
class action against France's Sanofi over what it
calls misleading statements on the safety and efficacy of its
multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada.
Sanofi acquired Lemtrada when it bought U.S. biotech firm
Genzyme for $20.1 billion in 2011. The drug's prospects took
centre-stage in a drawn-out takeover battle and led to a deal in
which Genzyme shareholders received listed contingent value
rights (CVRs) linked to Lemtrada's future success.
Law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP said on
Friday it was bringing litigation on behalf of all purchasers of
the CVRs between March 6, 2012 and Nov. 7, 2013.
The firm alleged that over this period, Sanofi and some of
its senior executives made false and misleading statements about
its business and the prospects for Lemtrada, and misled
investors over the design of its clinical trials on the drug.
A spokesman for Sanofi said the company does not comment on
The complaint comes after U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) experts voiced concerns last month over Lemtrada's safety
and the quality of its clinical studies, prompting CVRs on the
drug to shed over 60 percent of their value in one day.
Lemtrada, an injectable treatment also known as alemtuzumab,
is one of Sanofi's two new drugs for MS, an autoimmune disease
that attacks the central nervous system and affects more than 2
million people worldwide.
The drug was approved by European regulators in September
and the FDA is expected to rule by Dec. 27 on whether to approve
the treatment for marketing in the United States, the world's
biggest pharmaceutical market.