Sanofi is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Headquartered in Paris, France, this Knowledge Leader’s roots go back to the 1800s, to French chemist Louis Pasteur’s early vaccine discoveries, leading to the founding of the Pasteur Institute for research, eventually becoming part of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine arm of the company we know today as Sanofi. “Reinvention is in our DNA,” the company says. “We chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives.”
Today, Sanofi’s approximately 100,000 employees are at work on treatments to address immune and inflammatory diseases like diabetes, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, neurological diseases like MS and ALS, blood disorders, and genetic diseases. It’s also a world leader in injectable pediatric and flu vaccines. The firm has about 91 projects in its pipeline, including a jointly developed COVID-19 vaccine with GSK, currently in regulatory review, Sanofi having contributed supplies and manufacturing efforts to last year’s race to get the first generations of vaccines into arms. Many current projects are based on breakthroughs like multi-targeting therapies, those tackling multiple diseases with a single drug, or initiatives that use AI and digital technologies to help patients manage chronic conditions.
Just as vaccines transformed medicine a century ago, Sanofi’s R&D teams are building on innovations from the last decade for new treatments that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. These include, for example, small molecule cancer drugs that can be swallowed in a pill and absorbed through the stomach, monoclonal antibodies which are specialized immune cells for fighting disease, enzymes that can accelerate biochemical processes in metabolic diseases, gene editing for sickle-cell disease, for example, and an “Expanded Genetic Alphabet” which creates new proteins that treat cancer and other diseases. Last year, Sanofi invested in a collaboration with Owkin, an artificial intelligence developer, to accelerate the speed of medical research. The project will connect decentralized data science results, and train AI models with the aim of discovering life-changing treatments for cancer patients worldwide. Sanofi’s alliance program includes partnerships with 20+ major brands to collaborate across R&D, manufacturing and finance. The firm runs 70 manufacturing sites and 20 R&D sites worldwide.