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PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi's rare disease unit Genzyme is pulling leukaemia drug Campath to prepare for its launch under a different dosage and as a multiple sclerosis treatment that will be branded as Lemtrada.
The withdrawal, meant to prevent the off-label use of Campath as a multiple sclerosis drug, is already under way in some European countries and will be effective in the United States on September 4, a Genzyme spokesman said.
If approved, it will be given far less frequently and in lower doses than Campath, and is one of the new products the French drugmaker is betting on to restore growth after losing several aging blockbusters to generic rivals.
"We think that this stoppage shows Sanofi's confidence in the approval of Lemtrada in multiple sclerosis," said Bryan Garnier analyst Eric Le Berrigaud, who estimates the drug could generate sales of $400 million in 2018, if approved.