“Remember that one,” asked Jim Cramer, “where virtually every big pharma company was supposed to be crushed as they lost patent protection on some of their most profitable drugs? “
We’re right in the middle of the patent cliff but the Mad Money host says some drug companies saw this problem coming and they took action.
“They bridged the crevasse so that now they’re doing better than ever.”
Among the more impressive, Cramer said, is Sanofi (SNY).
Sales of Sanofi’s blockbuster drug Plavix took a nasty hit when the drug lost protection. Plavix had been the world's second-biggest-selling medicine until its U.S. patent lapsed in May.
However, “Sanofi realized the patent cliff would be a problem years ago -- from 2008 through this year the company was expected to lose patent protection on drugs that represented a quarter of its sales and close to half of its profits,” said Cramer.
Unlike some rivals, however, Sanofi recognized the best defense would be a strong offense.
“They moved aggressively into new growth platforms like vaccines, animal health, and diabetes—all growth areas—and then last year they bought Genzyme for $20 billion in cash.”
Looking at the company’s latest earnings report it appeared the strategy reaped rewards.
Sanofi experienced double-digit percentage growth in diabetes treatment Lantus – that combined with the performance of Genzyme lifted sales to 9.04 billion, up 3.3 percent, offsetting the slump in Plavix as well as another drug that went off patent, cancer treatment Eloxatin.
Cramer was impressed and thought the market would find that kind of performance impressive too. “I think there could be more upside ahead,” he said. "It's a winning stock that I think is going higher."
To hear more about the quarter and what’s ahead Cramer spoke with Chris Viehbacher, the CEO of Sanofi. Watch the video for all the details.