* Sanofi's Zaltrap approved in Europe for colon cancer
* Analyst sees 300 mln eur peak sales
* Shares up 1.7 pct
PARIS, Feb 5 French drugmaker Sanofi
said on Tuesday that its Zaltrap drug had been approved for
marketing in the European Union to treat advanced bowel cancer.
The approval follows a recommendation from the European
Medicines Agency in November based on a late-stage study of the
drug that showed significant improvement in survival among
patients with colon cancer.
Zaltrap, approved in the U.S. in August 2012, is among the
new products Sanofi is relying on to restore growth after the
loss of several blockbuster drugs to generic competitition.
But CM-CIC analyst Arsene Guekam expects the drug,
co-developed with U.S. biotechnology company Regeneron,
will remain a niche product for Sanofi.
Guekam is forecasting peak sales of 300 million euros ($406
million) a year since Zaltrap will compete against established
medicines like Roche's Avastin and Erbitux, sold by
German drugmaker Merck, as a second-line treatment for
advanced bowel cancer.
Zaltrap is also unlikely to be used to treat other types of
tumours, after it failed studies in prostate, lung and
Sanofi shares, which have risen around 26 percent in the
last twelve months, were trading 1.7 percent at 70.85 euros at
1016 GMT, and were the leading gainer on the benchmark CAC40
index, up 0.5 percent.