Genzyme’s second MS drug in a month approved in Europe

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Genzyme, the rare diseases arm of French drug giant Sanofi, has been approved in Europe for its second drug to treat multiple sclerosis in less than a month.

On Tuesday morning, stock in Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) was up more than 2 percent, while shares of Biogen Idec, the Weston, Mass.-based drug company that has three drugs approved for multiple sclerosis, was down as much as 1 percent Tuesday morning.

On Aug. 30, the European Commissiongranted marketing authorization for Aubagio, Genzyme’s once-a-day, oral multiple sclerosis treatment. Aubagio is approved to treat relapsing MS in the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Chile and South Korea, and is under review in other countries.

Lemtrada is an intravenous drug, designed to be delivered for five consecutive days, and then on three consecutive days a year later.

“The approvals of Lemtrada and Aubagio in the European Union represent an important milestone for Genzyme and demonstrate our focus on scientific innovation and commitment to multiple sclerosis patients,” said Genzyme CEO and President David Meeker in a statement. “This is particularly exciting as the EU approval is the first for Lemtrada globally. We look forward to making these unique therapies available to MS patients very soon.”

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