UPDATED: Sanofi to chop 100 US jobs in oncology R&D, Genzyme reorg
- French pharma giant Sanofi on Wednesday confirmed to Bloomberg that the company had even bigger restructuring plans beyond its recently-announced diabetes marketing shakeup.
- Sanofi will be chopping 100 U.S. R&D jobs and will reportedly fold its struggling oncology research arm into global R&D operations, sources told Bloomberg's Albertina Torsoli.
- The company will also narrow the focus of subsidiary Genzyme to center on rare diseases and neuro-immunology.
In a statement, Sanofi spokespeople described the reorganization as a "natural evolution" of the company's R&D structure. But the reality is that this is part of a concerted effort to move past the tenure of former CEO Chris Viehbacher, who got the boot last year amid flagging diabetes franchise sales and an strained relationship with Sanofi's board. The company recently announced that it would be naming a successor to Viehbacher by the end of Q1, meaning an announcement on that hiring front could come just about any day now.
But the big news here, according to Bloomberg, is that the oncology arm will no longer function as a separate entity under the restructuring. "By 2015, our core [cancer] business has not increased," said Sanofi R&D chief Elias Zerhouni in a statement. "Why would you incur a huge infrastructure cost that is inherent to a division with a business that is not strong enough to do that?"
Sanofi has a big year ahead of it between the restructuring, a new incoming CEO, and several major product launches, including for the next-generation insulin glargine Toujeo and the PCSK9 inhibitor cholesterol drug alirocumab. Earlier on Wednesday, the company announced that it would be launching an $845 million gene therapy R&D pact with Voyager Therapeutics.