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Sanofi ordered to compensate French family for epilepsy drug side effects

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sanofi logo at the company’s headquarters during the annual results news conference in Paris, France, February 4, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – A French court has ordered Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) to pay more than 400,000 euros ($416,440) in damages to a family whose child suffered from a form of autism caused by its epilepsy drug Valproate, saying the drugmaker failed to inform about known side effects.

The link, alongside physical malformation, had also been recognised in a landmark class action ruling in January, which could potentially lead to hundreds of millions of euros in compensation, though Sanofi said it would file an appeal.

The latest ruling, made last week and seen by Reuters on Saturday, states that Sanofi must have known the risk that the drug, if taken by pregnant women, could cause malformations and “neuro-behavioural disorders” in children, which should have been mentioned in its attached leaflet.

Sanofi said in a statement it would appeal the decision, adding the drug’s overall risk-benefit ratio is positive.

The court in Nanterre on Thursday ordered the company to compensate the parents of the girl for the various physical and psychological damages suffered, and resulting costs such as special care and schooling needs.

The verdict is the first in France to state a link between Valproate, sold under the name Depakine in France, and disorders commonly referred to as autism, in an individual case, said Marine Martin, who heads victim association APESAC.

“I hope that Sanofi will change its position and start compensating the victims now that more and more court decisions are being rendered”, Martin, herself the mother of a child suffering from Depakine side effects, told Reuters on Saturday.

French health authorities have estimated the drug was responsible for deformities in between 2,150 and 4,100 children and neuro-developmental defects in up to 30,400.

Sanofi was placed under formal investigation in 2020 on charges of manslaughter, but rebutted those charges at the time and said it would challenge the merits of the investigation.

($1 = 0.9605 euros)

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Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance

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© Reuters. Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance

Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) shares were trading more than 4% higher after-hours following Q2 results, with EPS of $2.50 coming in better than the consensus estimate of $2.37. Revenue was $1.28 billion, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion.

The company expects Q3 non-GAAP EPS in the range of $2.01- $2.06 and revenue in the range of $1.21 billion – 1.24 billion. This is better than the consensus of $1.61 and $1.14 billion, respectively.

For the full 2022-year, the company expects EPS in the range of $8.63 – $8.70 and revenue in the range of $5 billion – $5.05 billion. This compares favorably to the consensus of $7.90 and $4.81 billion, respectively.

Shares of Synopsys were down 26% year-to-date going into the results.

By Davit Kirakosyan

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Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years

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© Reuters. Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years

Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA), announced that Patrik Frisk will step down as President and CEO and as a member of the board of the company, effective June 1, 2022.

Colin Browne, the company’s COO, was appointed as interim President and CEO until a successor is named. Frisk, who joined the company in 2017, will remain as an advisor through September 1, 2022.

Under Armour Founder and Chairman, Kevin Plank, thanked Frisk for his service and said the company is “committed to identifying additional opportunities to drive improved returns for our shareholders and deliver for athletes, partners, and teammates.”

Shares of Under Armour were down 50% year-to-date into the CEO announcement and down about the same amount since Frisk’s took over as CEO.

By Davit Kirakosyan

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U.S. lodges labor complaint against Panasonic in Mexico

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. labor officials on Wednesday asked Mexico to probe whether workers at a Panasonic (OTC:PCRFY) auto parts factory were denied labor rights, marking the third U.S. labor complaint under a new trade deal that aims to improve workplace conditions in Mexico.

The request from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) comes after a Mexican union last month petitioned the U.S. government to probe Panasonic’s plant in the northern border city of Reynosa, alleging violations of the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a letter to Mexico’s Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier that the agency was concerned workers were being denied rights to free association and collective bargaining at Panasonic Automotive Systems de Mexico.

Panasonic Corp of North America said in a statement it “respects and supports the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining for our employees” and that it did not believe it denied these rights.

The unit of the Japanese industrial conglomerate said it would “continue to comply with all legal requirements … and cooperate with authorities as requested by the Mexican Government in its review.”

Tai noted that two previous labor complaints, also filed under the USMCA’s “Rapid Response Mechanism” that aims to swiftly resolve disputes, led to benefits for workers.

“When concerns arise, we will work swiftly to stand up for workers on both sides of the border,” Tai said in a statement.

Mexico’s economy and labor ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Mexican government has 10 days to agree whether to conduct a review.

The Mexican union that requested the inquiry, SNITIS, accused Panasonic of signing a union contract behind workers’ backs and of firing several dozen employees who protested.

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