Sanofi CEO: Still in the hunt for new drug deals

Chris Viehbacher (photo) wasted little time in shaking things up at Sanofi-Aventis when he stepped in as CEO. Whipping out the company checkbook he has spent more than $9 billion on acquisitions, adding new programs and dropping others. And in an interview with Bloomberg he made it crystal clear that he's a long way from finished.

"We've got one of the better pipelines in the industry one year later, and we're certainly not going to rest until we have the best pipeline," Viehbacher said. "We've announced eight or nine partnerships already this year, and we continue to shop vigorously."

The buying frenzy that he triggered included the acquisition of 18 cancer projects, including work underway at BiPar Sciences in San Francisco. That buyout netted Sanofi the BSI-201 cancer drug, a parp inhibitor that is designed to prevent a tumor from repairing the damage wrought by chemotherapy. And Viehbacher says the drug has been producing some attention-grabbing results in Phase III testing.

"We've seen some very stunning things on an individual-patient basis, which certainly gives us lots of reason for optimism," Viehbacher told Bloomberg. "As I look at the oncology unit, I see the transformation of Sanofi-Aventis."

- here's the story from Bloomberg