Sanofi's €1BN investment to enhance health sovereignty in France

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Investment Manufacturing Supply chain Pharmacology Pharmaceutical industry Pharmaceutical drug Sanofi

Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical giant, has announced a significant investment of over €1 billion ($1.08 billion) in new bioproduction capacity at three manufacturing sites in France.

This move is part of a larger €3.5 billion program within the country. 

The investment will be allocated to facilities in Vitry-sur-Seine in Val de Marne, Le Trait in Seine-Maritime, and Lyon Gerland in the Rhône region. Its primary objective is to reduce France and the wider EU's dependence on manufacturing capacity outside the region, thus enhancing supply chain security and resilience.

This initiative aligns with the EU's concept of health sovereignty, which gained prominence in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health sovereignty focuses on reinforcing pharmaceutical systems and manufacturing capacities for vaccines and medical products, along with improving detection of threats and response mechanisms.

Sanofi's investment program is expected to create over 500 jobs and bolster France's ability to oversee the production of essential medicines comprehensively.

The company, as France's largest pharmaceutical group, has previously committed €2.5 billion to ensure the maintenance of medicine and vaccine production within its domestic market amidst the pandemic. Over 60% of Sanofi's global production takes place in the EU, with a mere 5% of active ingredients sourced from Asia, a stark contrast to the industry average of 80%.

Unprecedented industrial investments

The majority of the investment, approximately €1 billion, will be directed towards constructing a new facility in Vitry-sur-Seine, which will double the site's capacity for producing monoclonal antibodies and other biologic drugs, creating 350 new jobs.

Sanofi's pipeline includes a dozen potential blockbuster drugs, including biologics for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes, projected to generate over €10 billion in annual sales by the end of the decade.

Additionally, the company will invest €100 million in the Le Trait site to expand capacity for biologics formulation, filling, device assembly, and packaging, generating 150 jobs. Moreover, €10 million will be allocated to the Lyon Gerland facility for the production of Tzield (teplizumab), a biologic for type 1 diabetes.

Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi, emphasized the company's commitment to France, he said: “With these unprecedented industrial investments, we remain true to our history by once again choosing France to produce these future medicines and make them available to patients around the world.”

In parallel, other pharmaceutical giants are also demonstrating their commitment to France's healthcare ecosystem. AstraZeneca and Pfizer have announced investments totaling around $900 million in French R&D and manufacturing sites. Pfizer's pledge of €500 million aims to enhance its R&D presence in France, while AstraZeneca plans to invest $388 million in its facility in Dunkirk.

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