Sanofi trims staff at Genzyme R&D as it builds Boston hub

A year after closing on its $20 billion acquisition of Genzyme, the new powers that be at Sanofi ($SNY) have triggered a round of layoffs and relocations in the R&D wing of the business in Boston. There's no word on exactly how many research personnel were affected by the move, but Sanofi found "synergies that unfortunately make some positions redundant," the pharma giant said in a statement sent to FierceBiotech.

Yesterday, "all US R&D Genzyme employees impacted by the integration received notice regarding whether their position would be relocated or eliminated," the company stated. Anyone leaving Genzyme is being offered outplacement services and severance pay.

Sanofi has been moving steadily to make the Cambridge-Boston area into one of its most important global R&D hubs. It's been striking academic discovery pacts in the region, forging new ties with biotech companies and bringing in new talent to help on pipeline activities. Fitting Genzyme's ongoing research efforts into that new structure forced some downsizing.

"As some positions are eliminated, we are investing and hiring in other areas, such as manufacturing and multiple sclerosis," noted Sanofi, which has already absorbed some of Genzyme's business activities into its global operations. Just a week ago the FDA approved a new plant in Framingham, MA designed to provide a full supply for one of Genzyme's treatments.

- see the statement