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Brandicourt steers Sanofi onto a new heading

Unveilsmajor restructuring of the French pharma group

Sanofi Olivier Brandicort

Three months after taking the helm at Sanofi, Olivier Brandicourt has unveiled a major restructuring of the group headlined by the creation of three new business units.

The new chief executive said the new structure - created around five divisions and due to come into being in January 2016 - will simplify the organisation and "deepen specialisation" and provides a "clear focus on growth drivers". 

It is Brandicourt's first major play as he tries to deliver on a promise to speed up the development of a pipeline of new therapies that Sanofi has said could add up to €30bn in the first five years of sales. 

The company has admitted in the past that it has been light on product launches, but now plans to launch up to six new medicines this year and approximately one new drug every six months between 2016 and 2018.

The revamp means that Sanofi's specialty drugs all come under one newly-created division, with cancer drugs and immunology products bundled alongside Genzyme's rare disease and multiple sclerosis therapies in what will be called Sanofi Genzyme. It will be led by current Genzyme head David Meeker. 

The unit will have responsibility for key immunology pipeline drugs sarilumab for rheumatoid arthritis and asthma candidate dupilumab. It will also seek to revitalise Sanofi's efforts to expand in cancer, which has been a major research drive since 2009 but has underperformed in terms of bringing new drugs through development. 

The company trimmed back its oncology unit in the US earlier this year and laid off Tal Zacks, who was head of its global oncology division.

A new general medicines and emerging markets unit, which will be led by Peter Guenter, will combine Sanofi's generic and mature drugs with consumer healthcare and will subsume all the business units operating in those regions. 

The third new unit - diabetes and cardiovascular - will be led by Pascale Witz and bring together established drugs such as blockbuster Lantus (insulin glargine) with new products such as cholesterol-lowering antibody Praluent (alirocumab), which is under regulatory review in Europe and the US and was recently recommended for approval by an FDA advisory committee.

The remaining two units are vaccines specialist Sanofi Pasteur and Merial, Sanofi's animal health division, which will continue to be run by Olivier Charmeil and Carsten Hellmann, respectively.

"This is a necessary step for ensuring that Sanofi's new medicines and vaccines continue to build on our heritage of providing innovative healthcare therapies," commented Brandicourt.

Article by
Phil Taylor

16th July 2015

From: Research, Sales

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