Shares of the French drugmaker are getting pummeled over at least three analyst reports identifying a leak about a study or studies that could go public soon. Their research suggests the data is related to a suspected or "theoretical" higher cancer risk associated with SNY's Lantus.
Sanofi-Aventis issued a statement defending the safety of Lantus, which it claims has been established in large clinical trials and in the monitoring of patients who've used it over the several years it's been on the market.
Lantus is the world's top-selling insulin with sales of around $3.5 billion last year and it's SNY's #2 product. So, that may explain why investors are in a panic. They're also selling shares of the two other insulin makers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.
But they're buying shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which along with Eli Lilly, makes the insulin-alternative drug Byetta. AMLN, LLY and Alkermes are also waiting for the FDA to decide on whether to approve a once-a-week version of Byetta. And NVO is expecting the agency to make a call soon on its similar one-a-day diabetes treatment, Victoza.