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UPDATE 1-Sanofi raises outlook after strong Q2 numbers

Matthias Blamont

* Now sees EPS growth of 5%, vs earlier 3-5% target

* Surge in sales of Dupixent (Adds context)

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - Sanofi raised its 2019 outlook on the back of second-quarter results lifted by double digit growth at its vaccines and rare diseases businesses.

The French drugmaker said on Monday it was now eyeing earnings per share growth of around 5% compared to an earlier target range of 3-5%.

The group is betting on the strong uptake of its drug Dupixent, initially prescribed for atopic dermatitis and later approved for asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis, as it continues marketing and launches of the product.

Sales of Dupixent, developed with U.S firm Regeneron rose 168% in the second quarter to 496 million euros ($551.80 million).

Second quarter business net income rose 4.9% at constant exchange rates to 1.64 billion euros while sales were up 3.9% to 8.63 billion euros.

Sanofi booked an 1.8 billion euros impairment charge of intangible assets in the quarter related to hemophilia product Eloctate, after lower sales in the U.S. and a revision of sales projections.

Eloctate's revenue fell 11%, a result of direct competition from Roche's Hemlibra, a newcomer in the market.

Eloctate was developed by U.S. hemophilia specialist Bioverativ which Sanofi agreed to buy last year for $11.6 billion.

($1 = 0.8988 euros) (Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)