Sanofi sharpening budget ax in ongoing R&D restructuring effort

The news last week that Sanofi ($SNY) is reconfiguring its U.S. R&D operations in New Jersey and Massachusetts could be a harbinger of deep cuts for its European arena. The U.K.'s Business Weekly reports that Sanofi has informed 70 workers at the Genzyme research center in Cambridge, U.K., that it may bring down the budget ax on the newly-acquired facility as it concentrates investigational work in Boston, France, Germany and Asia.

Quoting sources in the Genzyme facility, Business Weekly says workers have not been given any timeline on a prospective shutdown. Business Weekly adds that Sanofi's R&D plans also appear to threaten facilities in Oxford as well as Italy, Hungary, Germany and The Netherlands.

Noting that some of the workers in Cambridge could be offered positions in Sanofi's remaining R&D hot spots, the report notes that the Genzyme workers have been concentrating on preclinical antibody work with an eye to developing new programs for clinical development.

Sanofi issued a statement last week outlining plans to create a hub for early-stage research in Boston as it integrates its R&D operations in the area with Genzyme's facilities. Late-stage efforts will be concentrated at its U.S. headquarters complex in Bridgewater, NJ, where one of its buildings is slated for closure. Sanofi acquired Genzyme for about $20 billion 8 months ago.

- read the story from the Business Weekly