Sanofi commits €50M to academic R&D alliance

Sanofi-Aventis is putting its money where CEO Chris Viehbacher's mouth is. The pharma giant will invest up to €50 million over five years into an R&D partnership with France's elite research institutes. And Sanofi was quick to pat itself on the back for striking the first such public/private partnership with the country's academic groups through an umbrella group called Aviesan.

"Mutual teams, laboratories, technological platforms and even research centers for Sanofi-Aventis and Aviesan could be considered," says the drug company, adding that the research teams will concentrate on aging, immuno-inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases and regenerative medicine.

"By pooling the creativity and expertise of a multitude of world-renowned researchers, we are sure that this fruitful collaboration will boost innovation in life sciences in France, and ultimately lead to major discoveries that will benefit patients," declared Viehbacher.

The Sanofi CEO has been an outspoken advocate of a greater reliance on outside partnerships and research alliances to find the next generation of therapeutics for the company. Like other Big Pharma companies, Sanofi has been frustrated with low productivity and astronomical R&D budgets. This partnership is one example of the company's determination to focus more on what others in the field have to offer.

- check out the Sanofi's release