Sanofi detailed plans on how the company will make significant investments in France to increase its vaccine research and production capacities, and contribute in responding to future pandemic risks. Aligned with its corporate strategy presented last December, Sanofi will invest EUR 610 million to create a new production site and research center in France with both dedicated to vaccines.
“We have a long history and exceptional teams working throughout the country, embodying our strong values. By investing in a new industrial site and an R&D center, Sanofi positions France at the core of its strategy, aiming to make France a world-class center of excellence in vaccine research and production,” said Paul Hudson, chief executive officer at Sanofi. “Sanofi is a major healthcare player in France, in Europe, and worldwide. It is our responsibility to focus our resources and expertise against the current pandemic and to invest in preparing for future ones. We welcome the French authorities’ ongoing collaboration and commitment, which we have been working alongside with the last several months to achieve this.”
Sanofi will invest in vaccine production in France and create its Evolutive Vaccine Facility (EVF) in Neuville sur Saône. This state-of-the-art industrial site will utilize the latest innovative vaccine production technologies. The project represents an investment of EUR 490 million over five years and is expected to create 200 new jobs.
The building of this plant will enable Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s global entity dedicated to vaccines, to be the first pharmaceutical manufacturer to benefit from such an industrial tool and to secure vaccine supplies in the event of new pandemics. EVF is a new type of factory designed around a central unit housing several fully digital production modules that make it possible to produce three to four vaccines simultaneously, versus only one in current industrial sites. This modularity will make it possible to prioritize the production of a specific vaccine in a more timely manner based on public health issues.
According to the press statement, Sanofi has also committed to investing EUR 120 million to create a new R&D center in France at the Sanofi Pasteur site in Marcy-l’Etoile to develop future vaccines. This state-of-the-art digital facility will house highly specialized laboratories that will enable the development of vaccines against emerging diseases and pandemic risks. The facility will become a world reference for pre-clinical research and pharmaceutical and clinical development. Sanofi expresses its gratitude to the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes French region for its support in this project.
Sanofi shares the French authorities’ vision for a sovereign Europe in healthcare and announced last February the creation of a new industry-leading European company to provide active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company today stands ready to cooperate with France and the European Union (EU) on other projects which will provide the EU with extra vaccine (EVF extension project) or monoclonal antibody (cell culture tanks installation and start-up project) production capabilities. The EU and other pharma companies can leverage these supplementary capabilities in the event of a healthcare crisis.
A major player in the healthcare sector in France
Sanofi plays a major role in meeting the health needs of patients and supporting their healthcare. In France, Sanofi provides more than 200 medicines, vaccines, and health products.
With a unique footprint of 33 sites in France, including 22 industrial sites and approximately 25,000 employees, Sanofi represents a quarter of the entire French pharmaceutical industry workforce.
Sanofi is France’s leading private R&D investor, with over EUR 2 billion spent each year researching new treatments for patients, totaling half of the private research effort in France. Nearly 5,000 researchers and scientists work in various therapeutic areas, mainly focusing on oncology, immuno-oncology, vaccines, and rare diseases.
Sanofi also has one-third of its global production in France, making it one of its leading exporters. Sanofi has invested EUR 3 billion in its French production sites over the past five years, including EUR 1.5 billion to accelerate biotechnologies in the country.
On the front line in the fight against Covid-19
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sanofi has played a leading role in the fight against Covid-19. In collaboration with health authorities and international partners, Sanofi is one of the world’s only companies to work on the search for Covid-19 vaccine candidates by exploring two different technological approaches.
The recombinant DNA technology, in collaboration with GSK, is a type of vaccine that makes it possible to produce huge quantities of antigens industrially, the proteins injected to stimulate the immune system’s response to the virus.
The messenger RNA technology, in collaboration with TranslateBio, is a vaccine that leads the human body’s cells to manufacture the virus antigens to which the immune system will react.
Sanofi is also committed to making its vaccine accessible to all and around the world.