Sanofi’s Extreme Makeover gives prominence to Genzyme

sanofi genzyme

There seems to be a tendency towards revolution amongst Sanofi’s CEOs. Olivier Brandicourt, Managing director of the French drugmaker since his €4.1M golden handshake with the company, has come up with a restructuration plan that will reduce Sanofi’s business units from seven to five. The French businessman expects this reorganization will help the company to focus and to generate growth. The reform gives prominence to Genzyme, which will have new responsibilities in a few crucial areas such as immune-oncology.

Olivier Brandicourt didn’t ink a golden sign up for Sanofi to stand around twiddling his thumbs. The French businessman is determined to adapt the big Biotech to his own image and likeness with a new structure that aims at simplifying the organization to drive growth. As of 2016, Sanofi will be divided in five business units: General medicines & Emerging markets, Specialty Care, Diabetes & Cardiovascular, Sanofi Pasteur for vaccines, and Merial for animal health.

The restructuration, at least the French drugmaker hopes, will maintain Sanofi’s promise of launching 6 new drugs within the current year, and one every half a year until 2018. In total, 18 new treatments should be delivered over the next five years, which should bring multibillion incomes to the biotech company.

The protagonist of this reorganization is Genzyme, Sanofi’s biotech subsidiary that will be in charge of some of the key pipelines such as rare diseases, multiple sclerosis and, significantly, oncology and immunology. The renamed Sanofi Genzyme division will be led by David Meeker and will include a pair of the company’s candidates, sarilumab and dupilumab, developed by Regeneron.

Brandicourt is basing Sanofi’s new structure on those of Pfizer or Bayer, companies in which the entrepreneur previously worked for. This proof of concept would have been surely appreciated by Sanofi’s board of directors, not prone to changes, as the Viehbacher’s tenure showed. But if Genzyme also feared the redundancy of the former CEO and its protector, it certainly now appreciates the weight and importance it gained in the French drugmaker family. Still, only time will tell whether the modifications will lead Sanofi to a better future.

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