Sanofi-Aventis offers update on its new products

PARIS After two years without providing the public a research update, Sanofi-Aventis, the world's no. 3 drugmaker, is on the hunt to develop new drugs, according to Monday’s reports.

In order to defy the patent expirations of its two top-selling products: blood-thinner Plavix and anti-thrombotic Lovenox, the company said it expects to make up to 31 proposals for new drugs by the end of 2010. The company also said it has 48 drugs in late-stage development, with 28 of them in the final stage of clinical trials before the drugs can be submitted for marketing approval.

Sanofi-Aventis said tests on the prospective successor of Lovenox showed the anti-clotting medicine might work better than the original.

In light of these reports, the company had also announced that their treatment of Alzheimer's disease, known as Xaliproden, failed in late-stage trials. Analysts, who had previously stated that it was a hazardous product, had expected this outcome.

Sanofi-Aventis made a botched attempt to receive the FDA’s approval for its anti-obesity drug Acomplia. The marketing application was ultimately withdrawn in July, after it was linked to suicide in overweight patients.

Shares in Sanofi-Aventis were down 1.6 percent at €60.53 ($83.89) in midday trading Monday in Paris.