Press review

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Novartis, GSK confirm investments in France at meeting with President Macron

Country : France, U.S.

Keywords :
PARIS, Jan 26 (APM) - Tuesday’s Le Figaro (website), Le Parisien (website) and Les Echos (website) reported that Novartis confirmed it will invest a total of 900 million euros in France after several pharma company heads were invited to an event on investment in France organised by President Emmanuel Macron on Monday in Versailles.
Novartis’ investments include already announced projects, both newspapers noted, with a new French headquarter (300 million euros), new R&D projects (300 million euros), the extension of the biomanufacturing site in Huningue (100 million euros) and environmental remediation at the site (200 million euros).
Executives from GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, Novartis and Sanofi were also present.
GSK’s head of vaccines, Luc Debryune, told Le Parisien he had been "struck by [Macron's] desire to build a coherent project for the future and not only to refer to a glorious past," as the company announced a 90 million-euro investment in its Evreux plant.

Novartis starts 2018 on ‘solid ground’

Wednesday’s Les Echos (website) published an article on Novartis, judging the company was starting 2018 “on solid ground”.
The newspaper noted its current chief executive, Joe Jimenez will transfer a company “in good health” to his successor Vasant Narasimhan at the end of the month.
Les Echos said Novartis has been able to “neutralise” the impact of the patent expiry of its flagship cancer drug Glivec in 2017, with sales increasing slightly and operational results up 4%, while net results increased by 15% (APMHE 56580).
The article also underlined that Jimenez will leave a company “loaded with fuel”, with Cosentyx and Entresto “showing their blockbuster potential” and 15 launches of new products or new indications expected in 2018.

Sanofi engages in sale of generics business, enters haemophilia market

Sanofi was the main subject of interest this week in the French media, with the announcement of its acquisition of haemophilia specialist Bioverativ (Tuesday’s Les Echos, p38; Wednesday’s Le Monde, p1), and the kickstart of the sale process of its generics business (Monday’s Les Echos, brief p18).
Bioverativ, bought for $11.6 billion, will allow Sanofi to enter the haemophilia market and reinforce its position in rare diseases.
On its website, Investor’s newspaper Le Revenu judged the acquisition price was much too high, noting that Sanofi lost around 3% of its value on markets after the announcement.
An analyst told the newspaper that sales perspectives for Bioverativ’s products were “not so clear", notably because of competition from Roche’s Helimbra.

Celgene acquires Juno for $9 billion

Tuesday’s Le Figaro (website) and Les Echos (p18) reported on Celgene’s takeover offer for Juno Therapeutics (APMHE 56531).
Les Echos noted that the operation aims to help Celgene cope with the upcoming loss of exclusivity of its main product, cancer drug Revlimid.

Dominique Carouge joins Sanofi’s executive committee

On Wednesday, Les Echos (brief p35) announced that Dominique Carouge will join Sanofi’s executive committee, as vice-president in charge of business transformation.
Until now, he was executive financial director, after having been vice-president R&D administration and management officer from 2011 to 2016.

New CSO for Innate Pharma

On Wednesday, Les Echos (p34) published a feature on Eric Vivier, who was recently appointed chief scientific officer and vice-president of French biotech Innate Pharma.
Vivier joins the company after a long academic career in immunology, with work focusing on natural killer cells, one of the main fields of Innate’s R&D pipeline.

Alzprotect biotech raises 14 million euros

French biotech Alzprotect has raised 14 million euros from private investors, Les Echos announced on Monday (p28).
The company will use the funds to finance Phase II studies of AZP2006, a candidate treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) which was granted orphan drug status in the U.S. and Europe in this indication.
Beyond this indication, Alzprotect is also expecting to investigate the compound - which targets tau and beta proteins - in Alzheimer disease.

Allergan boosts dermal fillers manufacturing at French plant

Thursday’s Les Echos (brief p25) and Le Figaro (website) reported that Allergan is to invest 48 million euros in its Prigy manufacturing site, in order to increase production capacities for dermal fillers based on hyaluronic acid.
Capacity will be increased by 40% to 14 million doses per year by 2020.
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