R&D budget: $6.25B (€4.56B)
Change over 08: +0.2%
Income spent on R&D: 15.3 percent
Sanofi ($SNY) spent more money on R&D in 2009 than any other pharma company in the EU. Success, though, will be measured in the future on greater efficiency. And what hasn't Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher (photo) tried in R&D?
After taking the helm he quickly moved to the center stage on the whole outsourcing trend, vowing to strike far more partnerships and rely far less on its in-house work. He followed through with a string of new deals, expanded that with an academic partnership with Harvard this year and has been aggressively reshaping the company's pipeline, determined to identify a group of lead programs that Sanofi can build a future around. And, of course, he's topped it all off with a slow-motion hostile takeover attempt of Genzyme in 2010.
The restructuring has led Sanofi to move to shutter places like its Great Valley, PA facility while grabbing new space and planning big ops in Boston around its cancer plans. In the next two years look for lots of new work on diabetes, cancer and ophthalmology drugs.
By the early part of 2010 Viehbacher was reporting that the company's R&D budget had shrunk seven percent in 2009. And the company reported an R&D portfolio comprised of "49 projects in clinical development of which 17 are in Phase III or have been submitted to the health authorities for approval." Toward the end of this year Sanofi had struck a deal to sell two of its research facilities to an aggressive Covance as they forged a 10-year outsourcing deal, much like Eli Lilly had done earlier.
Sanofi still has a long way to go delivering on new approvals from his reshaped R&D effort. But no company has stirred up more attention for the brave new world of drug discovery than Sanofi.