Sanofi plans to cut R&D jobs

As reported by Business Week, the French Pharma company, Sanofi may be cutting US and EU science jobs.

The news comes as a result of a reorganisation of their R&D operations following their acquisition of Genzyme, as well as the loss of exclusivity on key drugs.

Sanofi plans to group their R&D into four ‘research hubs’ to be based in the US (Boston). France, Germany and Asia. It is hoped that this move will help to improve communication between teams and help integrate R&D operations.

As a result, both sales and R&D jobs will be cut, however, there is no news yet as to exactly how many jobs will be cut.

Like other pharmaceutical companies, in recent times, Sanofi has been taking strides to cut back staff in more mature markets (e.g. Europe and US) and is concentrating on strengthening it’s workforce in emerging markets. In fact, since 2008, Sanofi has created more that 3,700 jobs in these countries.

This news comes just as The Wall Street Journal, reports a 26 per cent rise in Sanofi’s third quarter profit which was boosted by sales in emerging markets.

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David Meeker appointed as Genzyme’s CEO

As reported by the Pharmaceutical Business Review, David Meeker has been appointed CEO of Sanofi’s subsidiary, Genzyme.

Meeker has a long history with Genzyme –

  • – 1994 – David was Medical Director at Genzyme working on the Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy program.
  • – He has also been the president of the Global Rare Disease Business and looked into the global launches of Aldurazyme, Fabrazyme and Myozyme.
  • – 2009 – David became the Chief Operating Officer of Genzyme

Meeker’s appointment to CEO will drive Genzyme’s push to incorporate the Rare Disease business and the Multiple Sclerosis franchise. He will join the Group Management Committee of Sanofi and report to Sanofi CEO, Christopher A. Viehbacher. Speaking of the news, Viehbacher stated,  “After working closely with David over the past six months, I am confident that he is the best person to lead Genzyme.”

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Sanofi and Dendreon Battle for UK Market

Sanofi, a leading pharmaceutical company, has launched new cancer drug Jevtana in the UK, reports

EMA approval was granted after extensive phase III trials which indicated the drug extended the life of men suffering from a type of prostate cancer considerably. It also slowed the time it took the cancer to progress compared to standard chemotherapy drugs.

However, Sanofi will face competition from US firm Dendreon, as they seek to launch their drug Provenge into the European market. Ultimately, Provenge extends the patient’s life further and reduces the risk of death by nearly 25%, though it would cost £25,000 more to treat a single patient than Jevtana, so would struggle to be able to convince NICE that it is worth the extra cost.

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Genzyme have declined an $18.5bn takeover bid

drugsmoney-150x150The leading biotechnology company, Genzyme have declined an $18.5bn takeover bid by French drug makers, Sanofi Aventis yesterday.

Genzyme’s chief executive, Henri A.Termeer wrote this statement in a letter to Sanofi’s cheif executive Christopher A. Viehbacher, “The Genzyme board is not prepared to engage in merger negotiations with Sanofi based upon an opportunistic proposal with an unrealistic starting price that dramatically undervalues our company.”

Shares of Genzyme, which is one of the world’s leading makers of drugs for rare genetic disorders, rose nearly 4 percent to $70.13 in afternoon trading.

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