Sanofi's new headquarters, La Maison Sanofi, in Paris (Credit: Luc Boegly)

Sanofi wel­comes 500 staffers to new Paris HQ af­ter €30M ren­o­va­tion

When Paul Hud­son took the helm at Sanofi back in 2019, he promised to rein­vent the phar­ma gi­ant — in­clud­ing its Paris head­quar­ters. This week, the com­pa­ny set up shop in new “state-of-the-art” digs.

La Mai­son Sanofi, as the new HQ is called, is of­fi­cial­ly open for busi­ness, Hud­son an­nounced on Mon­day. The 9,000-square-me­ter (just un­der 97,000-square-foot) space ac­com­mo­dates 500 em­ploy­ees across the com­pa­ny’s gov­ern­ment and glob­al sup­port func­tions teams, in­clud­ing fi­nance, HR, le­gal and cor­po­rate af­fairs — and it was built with en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­i­ty and hy­brid work in mind.

“The open­ing of La Mai­son Sanofi is an­oth­er step to­ward the mod­ern health­care com­pa­ny we strive to be­come,” Hud­son said in a news re­lease. “A com­pa­ny open to the world and that seeks to of­fer its peo­ple the best work en­vi­ron­ment to chase the mir­a­cles of sci­ence.”

Sanofi signed a lease for the new space on Av­enue de la Grande Ar­mée back in 2020, just as its old lease on Rue La Boétie ex­pired. The com­pa­ny hired Franklin Azzi Ar­chi­tec­ture for the ren­o­va­tions, which in­clud­ed merg­ing two pre­vi­ous­ly sep­a­rate build­ings.

While a Sanofi spokesper­son de­clined to dis­close the cost of the project, they did note that the new lease is less ex­pen­sive than the pre­vi­ous one. Franklin Azzi said the ren­o­va­tion cost €30 mil­lion ($31 mil­lion).

The re­vamp is part of Sanofi’s push to mod­ern­ize its work­spaces, which re­cent­ly in­clud­ed a new 900,000-square-foot fa­cil­i­ty in Cam­bridge, MA. The com­pa­ny al­so ren­o­vat­ed its rough­ly 7-year-old Gen­til­ly cam­pus, close to Paris, to “bet­ter wel­come up to 3,000 col­lab­o­ra­tors.” Ear­li­er this year, Hud­son al­so sketched out a $1 bil­lion-plus in­vest­ment for a new mR­NA cen­ter in France.

“The new Paris head­quar­ters (as oth­er Sanofi of­fices in the world) was de­signed in or­der to bet­ter adapt to col­lab­o­ra­tors’ needs and new us­es born with the de­vel­op­ment of telecom­mut­ing and hy­brid work,” the spokesper­son said.

The build­ing boasts a rooftop ter­race, light­ing that changes through­out the day de­pend­ing on the bright­ness out­side, and acoustics de­signed to re­duce street noise. Franklin Azzi em­braced the old charm of the build­ing, high­light­ing the build­ing’s old fa­cades and bring­ing in ta­bles made from re­cy­cled glass and floor cov­er­ings made from old fish­ing nets. The build­ing was de­signed to be “as wel­com­ing as ‘a home,’” ac­cord­ing to Sanofi.

“Ad­di­tion­al­ly and im­por­tant­ly, we want­ed the project it­self to be in­her­ent­ly sus­tain­able. So we fo­cused on ren­o­vat­ing an ex­ist­ing build­ing and giv­ing it new life, rather than con­struct­ing a new build­ing,” the spokesper­son said.

Back in Feb­ru­ary, Hud­son un­veiled an en­tire­ly new look for Sanofi, leav­ing be­hind the well-known Pas­teur and Gen­zyme names and unit­ing the com­pa­ny un­der a new pur­ple, low­er­case brand.

Late Fri­day ap­proval; Trio of biotechs wind down; Stem cell pi­o­neer finds new fron­tier; Biotech icon to re­tire; and more

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I hope your weekend is off to a nice start, wherever you are reading this email. As for me, I’m trying to catch the tail of the Lunar New Year festivities.

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Pfiz­er lays off em­ploy­ees at Cal­i­for­nia and Con­necti­cut sites

Pfizer has laid off employees at its La Jolla, CA, and Groton, CT sites, according to multiple LinkedIn posts from former employees.

The Big Pharma confirmed to Endpoints News it has let go of some employees, but a spokesperson declined to specify how many workers were impacted and the exact locations affected. Earlier this month, the drug developer had confirmed to Endpoints it was sharpening its focus and doing away with some early research on areas such as rare disease, oncology and gene therapies.

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Jake Van Naarden, Loxo@Lilly CEO

Lil­ly en­ters ripe BTK field with quick FDA nod in man­tle cell lym­phoma

Eli Lilly has succeeded in its attempt to get the first non-covalent version of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, or BTK, inhibitors to market, pushing it past rival Merck.

The FDA gave an accelerated nod to Lilly’s daily oral med, to be sold as Jaypirca, for patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma.

The agency’s green light, disclosed by the Indianapolis Big Pharma on Friday afternoon, catapults Lilly into a field dominated by covalent BTK inhibitors, which includes AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica, AstraZeneca’s Calquence and BeiGene’s Brukinsa.

Filip Dubovsky, Novavax CMO

No­vavax gets ready to take an­oth­er shot at Covid vac­cine mar­ket with next sea­son plans

While mRNA took center stage at yesterday’s FDA vaccine advisory committee meeting, Novavax announced its plans to deliver an updated protein-based vaccine based on new guidance.

Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) members voted unanimously in favor of “harmonizing” Covid vaccine compositions, meaning all future vaccine recipients would receive a bivalent vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve gotten their primary series.

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CBER Director Peter Marks (Susan Walsh/AP Images)

FDA ad­vi­so­ry com­mit­tee votes unan­i­mous­ly in fa­vor of bi­va­lent Covid shots re­plac­ing pri­ma­ry se­ries

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted unanimously in favor of “harmonizing” Covid vaccine compositions, meaning all current vaccine recipients would receive a bivalent vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve gotten their primary series.

The vote marks an effort to clear up confusion around varying formulations and dosing schedules for current primary series and booster vaccines, as well as “get closer to the strains that are circulating,” according to committee member Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

FDA re­ports ini­tial 'no sig­nal' for stroke risk with Pfiz­er boost­ers, launch­es con­comi­tant flu shot study

The FDA hasn’t detected any potential safety signals, including for stroke, in people aged 65 years and older who have received Pfizer’s bivalent Covid booster, one senior official told members of the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Thursday.

The update comes as the FDA and CDC investigate a “preliminary signal” that may indicate an increased risk of ischemic stroke in older Americans who received Pfizer’s updated shot.

FDA cuts off use for As­traZeneca’s Covid-19 ther­a­py Evusheld

The FDA has stopped use of another drug as a result of the new coronavirus variants. On Thursday, the agency announced that AstraZeneca’s antibody combo Evusheld, which was an important prevention option for many immunocompromised people and others, is no longer authorized.

The FDA said it made its decision based on the fact that Evusheld works on fewer than 10% of circulating variants.

Evusheld was initially given emergency authorization at the end of 2021. However, as Omicron emerged, so did studies that showed Evusheld might not work against the dominant Omicron strain. In October, the FDA warned healthcare providers that Evusheld was useless against the Omicron subvariant BA.4.6. It followed that up with another announcement earlier this month that it did not think Evusheld would work against the latest Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5.

Rodney Rietze, iVexSol CEO

Bris­tol My­ers, Charles Riv­er join Se­ries A fund­ing for iVex­Sol

Massachusetts-based iVexSol has secured funding to the tune of $23.8 million in its latest Series A round. The new investors include Bristol Myers Squibb, manufacturer Charles River Laboratories and Asahi Kasei Medical.

iVexSol is a manufacturer of lentiviral vectors (LVV), used in making gene therapies, and this latest round of fundraising brings its total Series A total over $39 million, which will be used to recruit more employees and bolster its technology.

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John Rim, Samsung Biologics CEO (Samsung/PR Newswire)

Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics spells out ex­pan­sion plans in South Ko­rea and US

The CDMO arm of one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates has posted its year-end results and plans for 2023, which include new construction.

Samsung Biologics netted north of KRW 3 trillion ($2.4 billion) in 2022 revenue and an operating profit of KRW 983.6 billion ($799 million), which the company touted on Friday as “record-high earnings.” The revenue boost was 55% compared to 2021.