An industrial network serving the patient
Controlling the production chain: ensuring product safety for patients
Sanofi’s integrated manufacturing reflects a long-standing policy to ensure improved product quality and distribution. The three main stages in the Group's production process are the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, their transformation into medicines and packaging. The active ingredients (1) and main pharmaceuticals marketed by Sanofi are primarily developed and manufactured in-house in accordance with the Group’s general policy, to reduce dependence on external suppliers and to exercise strict and precise control over the entire chain. All Group pharmaceutical and vaccines production sites are GMP-compliant (Good Manufacturing Practices) in accordance with international recommendations.
Production chain control also is based on professional diversity and skills excellence, with the expertise of nearly 40,000 employees around the world combining each day to provide patients with quality drugs and vaccines. This collaborative work is illustrated by the production of the pharmaceutical Clexane® Lovenox®, in which five plants combine their efforts and expertise to produce sufficient quantities for patients worldwide, applying identical quality and safety standards. The Jurong, Singapore and Plöermel (France) sites provide the active ingredient (enoxaparin) to plants in Le Trait and Maisons-Alfort, France, and Csanyikvögy, Hungary, which manufacture and package the product. Collaboration also occurs across the Group's businesses: the Le Trait plant recently reinforced Sanofi Pasteur’s filling and packaging capacities through the production of vaccines for seasonal influenza (FluIM and FluID) as well as for infant meningitis (ActHIB) for the Japanese market. Similar collaborations are being developed to ensure vaccine availability for all patients.
Locating production sites to be closer to patients
Through a balanced global presence between mature and emerging markets, Sanofi’s industrial network contributes to greater proximity to patients, enhancing the Group's ability to meet their needs.
Production sites are organized on three levels:
- Global sites produce for all markets. Located mainly in Europe, the plants are dedicated to the production of active ingredients, injectables and a number of principal solid form products.
- Regional sites serve markets across a continent, in Europe and especially in the BRIC-M countries (Brazil, Mexico, India, China, Russia), illustrating Sanofi’s strong industrial presence in emerging markets.
- Local sites are fully dedicated to their domestic market.
This determination to remain close to patients is illustrated by a few examples:
- The production of ASAQ Winthrop® in Morocco: an anti-malarial manufactured in the heart of Africa.
- The production of AllStar® in India (Ankleshwar): an easy to use insulin injection pen produced locally that is affordable and accessible to a large population of Indian patients.
AllStar® was developed by Sanofi’s medical devices development department in Frankfurt, Germany, specifically for the Indian market through a unique collaborative team effort. Sanofi manufactures AllStar® in India in collaboration with a local partner. Packaging operations, quality control and distribution are also performed locally at the Sanofi Ankleshwar site (State of Gujarat) through to the release of batches at dedicated facilities.
AllStar® is the culmination of a multinational collaborative, cross-company project involving the sharing of technologies, resources and intellectual capital needed to develop a pen meeting the needs of Indian patients.
Diversification of activities to meet patients’ needs
Sanofi seeks to be a diversified health partner protecting health, improving quality of life and helping to meet the health needs of the world’s seven billion people. The industrial network serves this objective, relying on its traditional expertise in chemistry and biochemistry while continuously adapting to biotechnology (2) developments capable of providing patients with innovative treatment solutions.
Biotechnology raw materials, already a part of the industrial network through the Lantus®-producing Frankfurt site, are being increasingly integrated within the Group’s drug manufacturing. The Genzyme acquisition and Vitry-sur-Seine site conversion are among the actions that have strengthened Sanofi’s potential in this area. Vitry-sur-Seine’s Biolaunch unit is now Sanofi’s largest integrated cultural cell biotech unit and France’s leading bio-production facility of monoclonal antibodies (3). The facility began developing phase II and III monoclonal antibodies in 2012 for marketing and sales. Other sites around the world dedicated to the manufacture of bio-medicine include the Lyons site, which produces Thymoglobulin® for patients undergoing or awaiting transplants and the Framingham site (near Boston in the U.S.) which produces Fabrazyme (Fabry disease) and is dedicated to therapeutic proteins produced through a mammalian cell culture process.
Product distribution: providing the patient with the right product at the right time in the right place
The primary objective of distribution, the last link in the supply chain, is to ensure the physical delivery of Sanofi drugs from plants to patients. At the heart of the business, this cross-cutting activity is driven by the continuing effort to deliver the best performance, in terms of both service quality and competitiveness.
- 1. Active ingredient: Molecule that is part of a drug’s composition and produces its medicinal properties. A pharmaceutical containing one or more active ingredients combines with one or more excipients.
- 2. Biotechnology: Use of living organisms (e.g., bacteria or yeast) to create a molecule for therapeutic purposes, for example. These fermentation processes of genetically modified microorganisms or animal cell cultures enable complex compositions to be obtained following isolation and purification (insulin, monoclonal antibodies, protein extraction).
- 3. Monoclonal antibodies: Antibodies artificially produced for binding to a target antigen. A monoclonal antibody is derived from a single cell of origin, called a hybridoma, which ensures that all antibodies from the cell are identical. Monoclonal antibodies are widely used in biology and medicine, both as diagnostic tools and for therapeutic purposes.