ORO VALLEY, Ariz., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today for a new Research Center in Oro Valley. The company, which has had a presence in Tucson for more than 17 years, announced the purchase of more than 11 acres in Innovation Park last year to support the future expansion of its research and development center.
The new research center will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility located in the 300-acre, high-tech campus, which is becoming a significant biotech hub for Pima County.
The proposed 110,350-sq.-ft. research center will more than double the space at the company's current facility on Hanley Boulevard. In addition, the new facility is being designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified rating. Sanofi-aventis is committed to excellence in the design, safety and construction of its new research facility.
"The Oro Valley center plays an important role in sanofi-aventis' future research goals," says Jean-Marc Herbert, Senior Vice President of Discovery Research for sanofi-aventis. "Since its beginnings as a startup biotech 17 years ago, the Oro Valley site and its employees have continued to bring their passion, creativity and entrepreneurial, biotech spirit to their drug discovery efforts. This new, state-of-the-art facility will enable our local scientific team to enhance its impact on the sanofi-aventis drug discovery pipeline, laying down the foundation for bringing new, effective medicines to patients around the world."
The dedication ceremony was attended by sanofi-aventis senior management from around the world, as well as the staff of the current Oro Valley site. Also in attendance were state and local dignitaries, including Oro Valley Mayor Paul Loomis, City of Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, Pima County Supervisor Ann Day and Joe Snell, President & CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities.
"Sanofi-aventis represents exactly the quality of employer that TREO and its regional partners such as Oro Valley work hard to retain and expand," says Snell. "Expanding our biotech industry with quality, high-skilled jobs is a clear strategy in our Economic Blueprint and this illustrates that the region can compete for top-notch jobs."
Construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin end of November, with an estimated completion date by June 2009.
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). Website: www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofi-aventis.com