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Sanofi wins EU approval for second MS treatment

PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi said it won approval from European authorities for a second multiple sclerosis treatment, paving the way to start selling both drugs in the region soon.

The marketing authorisation for injectable drug Lemtrada from the European Commission follows a similar green light for MS pill Aubagio on August 30, Sanofi said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The company intends to begin launching both products in the EU soon," Sanofi said.

The endorsement by the Commission followed positive recommendations from the European Medicines Agency earlier this year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule on Lemtrada in late 2013. Aubagio won U.S. approval a year ago.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system and can lead to numbness, paralysis and loss of vision. MS is estimated to affect more than 2.1 million people globally, with about 630,000 people affected in Europe, according to Sanofi.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by David Cowell)

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