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Sanofi Cuts 3-Year Diabetes Sales Forecast as Lantus Slides

Sanofi, France’s biggest company by market value, cut its forecast for sales of diabetes therapies in the next three years after sales of its best-selling Lantus insulin slumped.

Diabetes sales will probably drop between 4 percent and 8 percent through 2018 at an average annualized rate and at constant exchange rates, the Paris-based company said in a statement Thursday. Last November, it had forecast sales slight growth at best.

Chief Executive Officer Olivier Brandicourt is banking on new therapies such as Praluent, a powerful new cholesterol treatment that first went on sale in July, and Aubagio and Lemtrada for multiple sclerosis, to help make up for the sales slide in ageing best-sellers like Lantus. That worked last quarter: even as diabetes suffered, new products helped profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Profit excluding some costs and currency movements, which Sanofi calls business net income, rose to 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion), or 1.61 euros a share, from 1.94 billion euros, or 1.47 euros a share, a year earlier, the French drugmaker said. That exceeded the 1.58-euro average of 12 analyst estimates...