Sanofi restructures U.S. R&D ops, shifts programs to Boston

Sanofi's big plans to restructure its R&D work are roiling the waters in its U.S. operation today. The company issued a statement saying that it plans to create a hub for early-stage research in Boston, where it is integrating the work being done at Genzyme, while it concentrates on late-stage efforts at its U.S. headquarters complex in Bridgewater, NJ.

Pharmalot reported this morning that Sanofi ($SNY) alerted its U.S. employees this morning about the big shifts in R&D work as it prepares to lay off hundreds of workers in both research and sales. But the details are sketchy, says Pharmalot's Ed Silverman. According to the AP one of Sanofi's four research buildings in Bridgewater is being closed and some R&D work is being transferred to Boston.

As we already know, Sanofi under CEO Chris Viehbacher is downsizing its global R&D operations and shifting to the "open innovation" structure in which it teams more with academic researchers and biotech partners. That plan is leading to the consolidation of its early-stage drug research work in the Boston area, where it's been integrating Genzyme ($GENZ) into the worldwide operations. Late-stage work will be concentrated in Bridgewater, reports Pharmalot, where Sanofi has its U.S. headquarters.

Sanofi has made no secret of the fact that business-as-usual is no longer an option. It's cutting thousands of workers out of its operations and already laid out plans to slice R&D budgets by 12%. Sanofi recently laid out $2.9 billion in fresh cuts.

- here's the story from Pharmalot
here's the AP's report