Viehbacher readies an overhaul of Sanofi R&D

Just months after taking the helm of Sanofi-Aventis, Chris Viehbacher says he's weeks away from unveiling a makeover of the company's research and development side, and there are some broad hints that the company will be putting much more emphasis on external collaborations.

Viehbacher never made a secret of his intention to reorganize R&D. Like many other big pharma operations, Sanofi's development side has been big on costs and low on productivity. He laid out his thoughts on a restructuring in a letter to employees the week he took the CEO's job in December. And soon after he commented that R&D, which is run by Marc Cluzel, would show "lower spending internally" and "higher spending externally," according to Bloomberg.

"We have a number of things to address in terms of how we get our people to work together, how we can provide more latitude for creativity, how we can develop them scientifically and how we can encourage external collaboration, because there is a world of science out there," Viehbacher told Reuters today.

Viehbacher has been quick to clean house. Sanofi dumped 14 of its 65 development programs recently, signaling its intention to concentrate on new drugs that had a solid shot at an approval in key markets. The company also acquired BiPar Sciences to help beef up its pipeline prospects.

"The company's R&D track record is seen as weak," wrote Tero Weckroth in a note to clients. "Discipline in R&D could increase value creation."

- read the report from Bloomberg

Suggested Articles

Across its 15-year history, Omega Funds has a hand in a clutch of high-profile biotechs such as Editas Medicine and Juno Therapeutics.

After Novartis’ near $10 billion buyout of The Medicines Company, many thought cardiovascular therapies were hot again.

Mutations in RIPK1 can cause uncontrolled cell death and inflammation, researchers discovered by studying families with an autoimmune disorder.