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Biotech and vaccines focus for sanofi-aventis

French drugs maker sanofi-aventis has announced that it plans to shift its emphasis to biotechnology and vaccine production

French drugs maker sanofi-aventis (S-A) has announced that by 2014 it plans to shift its emphasis to biotechnology and vaccine production in France, and away from the chemical production of drugs.

The company is presenting employees with its plans to invest €150m in the transfer, which will entail training programmes and the creation of the group's third largest European vaccine production site.

The company said the move reflects its shift in business from producing drugs through synthetic chemistry following patent expirations of several key drugs.

The new activities will create jobs locally, the company said.

31st March 2010

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