Sanofi may cut jobs; extends Genzyme offer

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vaccine

Sanofi Aventis has had a busy few days with media speculation about potential job cuts following just 24 hours after the firm extended its takeover offer for Genzyme.

According to a report in French newspaper La Tribune ​Sanofi may shed up to 700 jobs in Europe as it merges some of it national units under the ‘Transforming’ reorganisation plan.

The paper said that the strategy, which was launched in 2009, will see Sanofi combine its units in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Holland and the Czech Republic into a pan European group.

Sanofi has yet to comment. The report followed a day after the firm announced it had extended its $20.1bn offer for US biotechnology firm Genzyme from March 16 to April 1

Hib vacc safe, says Pasteur

In other news Sanofi’s vaccine unit, Sanofi Pasteur, reiterated the safety of its Hib vaccine, Act-HIB (Haemophilus influenzae type b Conjugate Vaccine), after Japanese authorities suspended it and Pfizer’s combination meningitis and pneumonia vaccine Prevnar earlier this week.

The Ministry for Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW) pulled the two products after reports that four children had died shortly after they received them under a national vaccination programme.

ABS News​ reported that all four of the children had received Prevnar with three going on to be immunised with ActHIB

According to Reuters​, an MHLW expert panel, which met to discus the issue yesterday, found no link between the vaccines and the deaths. Nevertheless the suspension remains in place as a precautionary measure.

This was reiterated by Pasteur, which told Dow Jones news wire that: “No causal relationship has been established between immunizations and the fatalities reported in Japan​.”

In its response Pfizer said that Prevnar "has a well-documented safety profile and is associated with significant public health benefits where the vaccine is routinely used."

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