The unit was set up in 2005 and has already been involved in several global registration studies for a range of Sanofi products including Lantus, Plavix, rimonabant, dronedarone and idrabiotaparinux.
However in 2008, as part of an effort to expand in emerging markets, Sanofi announced plans to significantly expand capacity at the facility which, according to a report in the Shanghai Daily newspaper, has now been completed.
Thomas Kelly VP of Sanofi’s operations in China told the paper that: "We hope to become the first multinational drug company that completes truly home-grown research activities and will cooperate with local partners."
Company VP of R&D Marc Cluzel was equally upbeat about the R&D unit’s potential explaining that: “[It] is expected to accelerate the development of therapies and health solutions for the mass population in the region.”
Like the majority of its Big Pharma peers Sanofi has been actively targeting growth in emerging pharmaceutical markets, particularly in China.
In April 2009, for example, Sanofi invested $90m to boost capacity at its manufacturing facility in Beijing which, CEO Chris Viehbacher said, was evidence of Sanofi’s belief in “the strategic importance of the Chinese market”.
And, earlier this year, Sanofi further underlined its commitment to building in China by forming a consumer healthcare focused JV with Minsheng Pharmaceutical which is focused on the production of vitamins and supplements.