Sanofi S.A. is a French multinational pharmaceutical company
headquartered in Gentilly, France, as of 2013 the world's
fifth-largest by prescription sales. The company was formed as
Aventis in 2004 by the merger of
Sanofi-Synthélabo, which were each the product of several previous
mergers. It changed its name to
Sanofi in May 2011. The company is a
component of the
Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
Sanofi engages in the research and development, manufacturing and
marketing of pharmaceutical drugs principally in the prescription
market, but the firm also develops over-the-counter medication. The
company covers seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, central
nervous system, diabetes, internal medicine, oncology, thrombosis and
vaccines (it is the world's largest producer of the latter through its
1.3 Post-merger activities
1.4 Rename to
Sanofi and beyond
1.5 Company financials
1.6 Acquisition history
2.1 Prescription medications
2.1.3 Infectious disease
2.1.9 Over the counter
3 Head office
4 Collaborative research
5.1 BCG supply shortage 2012-
8 See also
11 External links
Sanofi was founded in 1973 as a subsidiary of
Elf Aquitaine (a
French oil company subsequently acquired by Total), when Elf Aquitaine
took control of the Labaz group, a pharmaceutical company. In 1993
Sanofi made a move into the Eastern Europe market by acquiring a
controlling interest in Chinoin, a Hungarian drug company that had
about US$104 million in sales in 1992. In that same year,
Sanofi's made its first significant venture into the U.S., and
strengthened its presence in Eastern Europe, by first partnering with
Sterling Winthrop and then acquiring the prescription pharmaceuticals
business in 1994.
Sanofi was incorporated under the laws of
France in 1994 as a société anonyme, a form of limited liability
Synthélabo was founded in 1970 through the merger of two French
pharmaceutical laboratories, Laboratoires Dausse (founded in 1834) and
Laboratoires Robert & Carrière (founded in 1899). In 1973, the
French cosmetics group
L’Oréal acquired the majority of its share
capital.:19 In 1991, Synthelabo acquired Laboratories
Delalande and Laboratoires Delagrange, and through this deal
picked up the product metoclopramide.
Synthélabo was formed in 1999 when
Sanofi merged with
Synthélabo; at the time of the merger
Sanofi was the second largest
pharmaceutical group in
France in terms of sales and
the third largest. The merged company was based in Paris,
The merged companies focused on pharmaceuticals, divesting several
businesses soon after the merger, including beauty, diagnostics,
animal health and nutrition, custom chemicals, and two medical
Aventis was formed in 1999 when French company
merged with the German corporation Hoechst Marion Roussel, which
itself was formed from the 1995 merger of
Hoechst AG with Cassella,
Roussel Uclaf and Marion Merrell Dow. The merged company was based in
Schiltigheim, near Strasbourg, France.:13:9–11:40–41
At the time of the merger, Rhône-Poulenc's business included the
pharmaceutical businesses Rorer, Centeon (blood products), and Pasteur
Merieux (vaccines), the plant and animal health businesses
Rhône-Poulenc Animal Nutrition, and Merial, and
a 67 percent share in Rhodia, a speciality chemicals company.:10
Hoechst had seven primary businesses: Hoechst Marion Roussel
AgrEvo (a joint venture with Schering in crop
protection agents and pest control products), HR Vet (veterinary
Dade Behring (diagnostics), Centeon,
and Messer (chemicals).:9 Merieux has been in the business of
selling blood products, and In the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic,
Merieux and other companies were involved in scandals related to
HIV-contaminated haemophilia blood products that were sold to
In mid 2000
Aventis and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a US biotechnology
company formed to discover new drugs based on the then-new science of
genomics, announced that
Aventis would make a $250M investment in
Millennium and would pay $200M to Millennium in research fees over
five years, one of the largest such deals between a big pharmaceutical
company and a biotech company at the time.
In late 2000, in the midst of the recall of Starlink, its genetically
modified maize product,
Aventis announced that it had determined to
Aventis Cropscience, the seed and pesticide business unit it
had created from the agriculture businesses of its predecessors.
In October 2001,
Aventis announced that
Bayer would acquire
the unit for about $6.6 billion, with the unit becoming Bayer
CropScience and making
Bayer the world's second-largest agrochemical
company behind Syngenta.
Aventis entered into a collaboration with Regeneron, a New
York biotechnology company, to develop Regeneron's VEGF-inhibiting
drug, aflibercept, in the field of cancer, which was then in Phase I
Aventis invested $45 million in
Regeneron and made an
upfront payment of $80 million in cash.
Regeneron partnered the
Bayer Healthcare in the field of proliferative eye diseases,
and under the name Eylea it was approved by the FDA in 2011; after
several setbacks in clinical trials,
Sanofi got the
drug approved in metastatic colorectal cancer in combination with
other agents, under the brand name ZALTRAP in 2012.
Aventis was formed in 2004 when Sanofi-
Aventis. In early 2004, Sanofi-
Synthélabo made a hostile takeover bid
worth €47.8 billion for Aventis. Initially,
Aventis rejected the bid
because it felt that the bid offered inferior value based on the
company's share value, and the board of
Aventis went so far as to
enact poison pill provisions and to invite
Novartis to enter merger
negotiations. The three-month takeover battle concluded when
Synthélabo launched a friendly bid of €54.5 billion in place
of the previously rejected hostile bid. The French government played a
strong role, desiring what it called a "local solution", by putting
heavy pressure on Sanofi-
Synthélabo to raise its bid for
Aventis to accept the offer and by rejecting Aventis' poison
pill proposal. One of the largest risks in the deal for both
sides, was the fate of the patents protecting
which was one of the top-selling drugs in the world at the time and
the major source of Sanofi's revenue.
In 2006, Iraqis infected with HIV sued
Sanofi and Baxter due to
HIV-contaminated haemophilia blood products sold by Merieux in the
1980s. In 2006 the US patents on clopidogrel (Plavix) were
challenged when a Canadian generics company, Apotex, filed an
Abbreviated New Drug Application
Abbreviated New Drug Application under the Hatch-Waxman Act, received
FDA approval, and started marketing a generic clopidogrel. While
Aventis and its partner on the drug, Bristol Myers Squibb
(BMS), were able to get an injunction to stop
Apotex from selling the
drug, the case became complicated when settlement negotiations
fell apart twice - the second time due to an oral agreement made by
CEO Peter Dolan that BMS failed to disclose to the Federal Trade
Commission during the review of the settlement agreement to ensure
that it did not violate antitrust law. When
Apotex disclosed the oral
agreement to the FTC, the FTC launched an investigation that led to
Dolan being fired by BMS.
Apotex finally lost on the patent
litigation issues after its third appeal was decided in favor of
Sanofi in November 2011;
Apotex had to pay ~$442 million in
damages and ~$108 million in interest for infringing the patent,
which it paid in full by February 2012.
Apotex also sued BMS and
Sanofi for $3.4 billion for allegedly breaching the settlement
Apotex lost a jury trial in March 2013.
In 2007 Sanofi-
Aventis expanded on Aventis' prior relationship with
Regeneron; in the new deal Sanofi-
Aventis agreed to pay
million each year for five years, under which
Regeneron would use its
monoclonal antibody discovery platform to create new
biopharmaceuticals, which Sanofi-
Aventis gained the exclusive right to
co-develop. In 2009 the companies expanded the deal to $160
million per year and extended it through 2017. As of 2009 the
collaboration had four antibodies in clinical development and had
filed an IND for a fifth. Two were against undisclosed targets, one
targeted the interleukin-6 receptor as a treatment for rheumatoid
arthritis, another targeted nerve growth factor for the treatment of
pain, and another targeted delta-like ligand 4 as a treatment of
Between 2008, when Chris Viebacher was hired as CEO, and 2010, the
company spent more than $17 billion in mergers and acquisitions to
strengthen its consumer healthcare and generics platforms especially
in emerging markets, in the face of looming patent cliffs and the
growth of the consumer healthcare segment. In September,
Zentiva was acquired for €1.8 billion, expanding the
groups eastern European markets presence 
In 2009, Medley Farma, the third largest pharmaceutical company in
Brazil and a leading generics company in that country was acquired for
about $635 million
Sanofi outbid Teva Pharmaceuticals. The
deal was approved by Brazil's antitrust authorities in May 2010.
Later in the same year Indian vaccine manufacturer Shantha Biotechnics
was acquired for $784 million In October Sanofi-
that it would lay off about 1,700 US employees (about 25% of its US
workforce) due to restructuring triggered by growing generic
competition and other factors, and that the company would focus its US
operations on diabetes, atrial fibrillation and oncology.
In 2010 U.S. consumer healthcare company Chattem, Inc. was acquired
for around $1.9 billion. In the same year, Nepentes Pharma was
acquired for $130 million and BMP Sunstone Corporation for $520.6
Sanofi and beyond
The company dropped the -
Aventis suffix of its name on 6 May 2011
after receiving approval at its annual general meeting. The reason
given by the company for the change was to make its name easier to
pronounce in countries such as China.
In 2011, for around $20.1 billion,
Genzyme Corporation, a
biotechnology company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and
specialized in the treatment of orphan diseases, renal diseases,
endocrinology, oncology and biosurgery.
In January 2012,
Sanofi co-invested in the $125 million Series A
financing of Warp Drive Bio.
Sanofi sought support for its internal
cancer research program and also took on an obligation to acquire Warp
Drive if certain milestones were met.
In January 2014,
Genzyme and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a US
biotechnology company developing
RNAi therapeutics, announced that
Genyzme would invest $700 million in Alnylam. Under the deal, Genzyme
obtained further rights to patisiran, an
RNAi treatment for
transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis - a condition that can result in
familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy and familial amyloidotic
cardiomyopathy, and obtained rights to other compounds in
In March 2014
Sanofi joined the bidding for Merck & Co.’s
over-the-counter health-products unit, the maker of Coppertone
sunblock and Claritin allergy medicine; bids were expected to range
between $10 billion and $12 billion.
In October 2014, Sanofi's directors fired US-resident chief executive
Chris Viehbacher, blaming his alleged lack of communication with the
board and poor execution of his strategy. Board chairperson Serge
Weinberg took over as interim
CEO until 2 April 2015 when Bayer
Healthcare board chairperson
Olivier Brandicourt (appointed by Sanofi
on 19 February 2015) took over. Before Brandicourt even started
his new job, French government ministers
Stéphane Le Foll
Stéphane Le Foll and
Ségolène Royal attacked the $4.5 million golden handshake he was
Sanofi - and his pay of about $4.7 million a year.
Further, in 2014, the business took a 66% stake in Globalpharma,
Dubai-based generics manufacturer.
In July 2015,
Genzyme announced it would acquire the rare cancer drug
Caprelsa (vandetanib) from
AstraZeneca for up to $300 million. In
the same month In July 2015, the company announced a new global
Regeneron to discover, develop, and commercialise
new immuno-oncology drugs, which could generate more than $2 billion
for Regeneron, with $640 million upfront, $750 million for proof
of concept data and $650 million from the development of REGN2810.
In June 2016, the company announced it had struck an asset-swap deal
with Boehringer Ingelheim,
Sanofi would sell its
Merial animal health
division (valuing it at €11.4 billion), whilst acquiring Boehringers
consumer health division (valuing it at €6.7 billion) and €4.7
billion in cash. The deal means
Sanofi is now one of the global
consumer healthcare leaders by market share.
In July 2017, the company announced its intention to acquire Protein
Sciences, a privately held, Connecticut-based vaccines biotechnology
company, for $650 million and with up to $100 million in milestone
In January 2018,
Sanofi announced that it would acquire
$11.6 billion and days later announced it would acquire
€3.9 billion ($4.8 billion).
Historical financial data (in billions of euro)
Note. In 2001—2004 — Sanofi-Synthélabo, in 2004—2011 —
The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers,
acquisitions and historical predecessors:
Rhône-Poulenc Animal Nutrition
Hoechst Marion Roussel
Hoechst Marion Roussel
(Spun off 2000)
(Founded 1973 as subsidiary of Elf Aquitaine)
(Founded 1834, merged 1970)
Robert & Carrière
(Founded 1899, merged 1970)
Sicomed SA Bucharest
BMP Sunstone Corporation
Genzyme Corporation (Acq 2011)
Whatman Biochemicals Ltd
(Acq 1989, IPO 1991)
(Diagnostic enzyme div, Acq 1991)
Medix Biotech, Inc.
Omni Res srl
BioSurface Technology Inc.
SangStat Medical Corp.
Bone Care International Inc.
Asset swap with
Boehringer Ingelheim for their Consumer Healthcare
(Consumer Healthcare div, 2016)
Bioverativ (Acq 2018)
True North Therapeutics
Epinephrine autoinjector (Auvi-Q in the US and Allerject in Canada),
licensed from Intelliject and approved by the FDA in 2012 for
emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions.
Teriflunomide (Aubagio), small molecule for multiple sclerosis.
Approved by the FDA in September 2012.
Product Recall and Effects: The Epinephrine auto-injection devices
Sanofi SA currently on the market in the U.S. and Canada were
voluntarily recalled on October 28, 2015. The reason stated by
Sanofi was that the products have been found to potentially have
inaccurate dosage delivery, which may include failure to deliver
Sanofi US also added the following warning: If a patient experiencing
a serious allergic reaction (i.e., anaphylaxis) did not receive the
intended dose, there could be significant health consequences,
including death because anaphylaxis is a potentially
In its news Release on October 28, 2015,
Sanofi Canada stated that it
was "actively working with suppliers of alternative epinephrine
auto-injectors to have a full stock available in Canada as soon as
possible. Canadian customers were asked to immediately return the
Allerject product to their local pharmacy to obtain an alternate
Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration also filed a news release
confirming that the recall involves all Auvi-Q currently on the market
in the U.S. The FDA release went on to provide information for
consumers re: exchanging the device for another brand of product, also
provided on the Auivi-Q web site.
Sanofi US will provide reimbursement
for out of pocket costs incurred for the purchase of new, alternate
epinephrine auto-injectors with proof of purchase.
The alternate products expected to most commonly replace the recalled
Sanofi devices are the EpiPens made by
Mylan in the US and by
Pfizer—under license from Mylan—in Canada.
Mylan already had
an 85% market share of the auto-injectors in the US in the first
half of 2015. Maylan is expected to benefit from the recall by its
competitor Sanofi, according to a report published in the Fierce
Pharma newsletter of November 2, 2015: ".... it is very hard to see
Auvi-Q returning to the market, as it will need to be redesigned and
face uphill battle to recapture patient trust after the recall,"
Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
Gal also believes that the company will eventually have 95% of the
Epinephrine auto-injector market, according to another Fierce Pharma
report on November 3, 2015.
Clopidogrel (Plavix, Iscover) for atherothrombosis
Enoxaparin (Lovenox, Clexane) for thrombosis (its biggest seller in
Mipomersen (Kynamro), an antisense drug invented by Isis
Pharmaceuticals and acquired by
Genzyme in 2008 (pre-Sanofi) and
approved by the FDA in 2013 for the orphan disease homozygous familial
Irbesartan (Aprovel, Avapro, Karvea) and
Ramipril (Delix, Triatec,
Tritace) for hypertension
Alirocumab (Praluent) for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia
and clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
dupilumab (Dupixent) for heart disease
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (Amoklavin)
Haemophilus influenzae type b
Meningococcal infections (Menactra)
Japanese Encephalitis (Ixiaro)
Smallpox - eradicated in 1980 (vaccine produced as a measure in
response to the threat of bioterrorism)
Glimepiride (Amaryl) for type 2 diabetes mellitus
Insulin (Insuman) for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus
Insulin glulisine (Apidra) and
Insulin glargine (Lantus) for diabetes
Risedronic acid (Actonel) for osteoporosis and Paget’s disease
Sevelamer hydrochloride (Renagel and Renvela) for end stage renal
carmustine implants (Gliadel) for cancer
Sodium hyaluronate (Hyalgan) for Blood Tests
Valproic acid (Depakine) and
Valproate semisodium (Depakote) for
Zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Myslee, Stilnoct, Stilnox, Zolfresh,
Zolt) for insomnia
Alfuzosin (Xatral/Uroxatral) for benign prostatic hyperplasia
Cabazitaxel (Jevtana) for prostate cancer
Plerixafor (Mozobil) macrocycle approved by the FDA for peripheral
blood stem cell mobilizer for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and multiple
myeloma in December 2008.
Aflibercept (ZALTRAP) recombinant fusion protein, approved in
metastatic colorectal cancer in combination with other agents in
Clomifene (Clomid) for Female infertility
Docetaxel (Taxotere) for breast, lung and prostate cancer
Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) for colorectal cancer
Sarilumab (Kevzara) for Blood Tests, lung and prostate cancer
vandetanib (Caprelsa) for breast, colorectal cancer and Female
Codeine (Solpadol) for Chronic pain
Ketoprofen (Bi-profined) for pain
Toujeo (insulin glargine) for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus
Lantus (insulin glargine) for type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus
Over the counter
Fexofenadine (Allegra, Telfast) and
Triamcinolone (Nasacort) for
Calcium carbonate (Maalox, an antacid)
The company also produces a broad range of over-the-counter products,
among them Allegra,
IcyHot for muscle pain,
Gold Bond for skin
Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo (these brands were
acquired in 2010 when Sanofi-
Aventis purchased Chattem).
As of the summer of 2013,
Sanofi was in a race with
Amgen and Pfizer
to win approval for a drug that inhibits PCSK9, a protein that slows
the clearance of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - the form
of cholesterol that leads to heart attacks. Sanofi's drug was
Regeneron and is called alirocumab. An FDA warning
in March 2014 about possible cognitive adverse effects of PCSK9
inhibition threw the competition into disarray, as the FDA asked
companies to include neurocognitive testing into their Phase III
In fall 2013
Sanofi announced that another candidate from its
collaboration with Regeneron, the monoclonal antibody against the
interleukin 6 receptor, sarilumab, had better efficacy than placebo in
Phase III trial for rheumatoid arthritis.
Olivier Brandicourt, Chairman, Chief executive officer
Jean-François Dehecq was the General Manager of
Sanofi from its
creation in 1973 until 2007.
As of 31 December 2013::185
Breakdown of share ownership: 8.93% by L'Oréal, 0.27% treasury shares
and 1.31% employees. The remaining 89.49% were publicly traded.[A]
Head office 54 rue de la Boétie, Paris 8th around.
Former head office 174 avenue de France, Paris 13th around.
In January 2012,
Sanofi moved its head office location to 54, Rue La
Boétie in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. This former mansion
designed by architect René-Patouillard had previously been the head
office of Alcatel-Lucent.
Sanofi's previous head office was located in the 13th arrondissement
of Paris, 174 Avenue de France. The architecture of the head office is
of the predominant style of the area surrounding the François
Mitterrand Library. After
Aventis merged, the employees at
Aventis head office in Schiltigheim,
Alsace moved to
Paris. In June 2015, the headquarters were moved to Gentilly, just
south of Paris.
In addition to internal research and development activities
also involved in publicly funded collaborative research projects, with
other industrial and academic partners. One example in the area of
non-clinical safety assessment is the InnoMed PredTox project
The company is expanding its activities in joint research projects
within the framework of the
Innovative Medicines Initiative
Innovative Medicines Initiative of EFPIA
and the European Commission.
In June 2010,
Sanofi and the Charite University of
Berlin signed a
cooperation agreement for the research and development of medicines
On 25 October 2012,
Sanofi said its earnings for the third quarter
slumped as generic competitors ate into profits of its
Sanofi Pasteur, vaccines division of
Sanofi Group, was awarded
a $97 Million HHS contract in 2005.
BCG supply shortage 2012-
In the fall of 2011 the
Sanofi Pasteur plant flooded causing problems
with mold. The facility, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
BCG vaccine products, made with the Glaxo 1077 strain,
such as a tuberculosis vaccine ImmuCYST, a BCG Immunotherapeutic -a
bladder cancer drug. By April 2012 the FDA had found dozens of
documented problems with sterility at the plant including mold,
nesting birds and rusted electrical conduits. The resulting
closure of the plant for over two years resulting in shortages of
bladder cancer and tuberculosis vaccines. The Toronto Sanofi
plant On October 29, 2014
Health Canada gave the permission for
Sanofi to resume production of BCG.
Sanofi is a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical
Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Biotechnology Industry
Organization (BIO), and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
of America (PhRMA).
Sanofi's vaccine subsidiary,
Sanofi Pasteur, is a member of
Aventis Foundation, a German charitable trust, was
established in 1996 as the Hoechst Foundation with an endowment of
€50 million. In 2000, the foundation was renamed the Aventis
Foundation. Its aim is to promote music, theater, art, literature,
higher education and healthcare research.
Sanofi Biogenius Canada
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for $1.9 Billion
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