Sanofi CEO out to play nice with new partners

You won't have to wait very long before Sanofi-Aventis is back with more news about biotech tie-ups. Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher has made new R&D pacts with drug developers a top priority since taking over the top job. And he was back in the Boston biotech hub this week to make that point perfectly clear.

"We're starting to learn to work with others, to play nicely together,'' said Viehbacher. And according to a report in the Boston Globe, he went on to suggest that Sanofi might set up a venture fund that would focus on start-up developers. "There are going to be limits to what we can do as a big company,'' he adds. And don't expect Sanofi to build when it can partner. "The traditional model of bricks and mortar has gone the way of the Dodo bird,'' Viehbacher told his audience.

It's a message that plays well in Boston, home to one of the world's largest concentrations of biotech brainpower.

"Boston has the critical mass of research talent,'' Kevin J. Gorman, managing partner at Putnam Associates, told the Globe. "It's fueled by the science at all of the academic institutions and the university teaching hospitals. The pharmaceutical companies have the ability to do clinical studies on a global scale, and they have the deep pockets to finance it. But their internal research and development activity has been relatively poor over the past couple of decades.''

- check out the report in the Boston Globe