Sanofi-Aventis Announces New Investment in China to Locally Produce Lantus SoloSTAR

- French Group Committed to Partnering with the Chinese Diabetes Society to Undertake in China the World’s Largest Diabetes Genotyping Project -

BEIJING, China, April 21, 2009 - Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) announced today an increase of capital investment in the amount of US$90 million (600 million Renminbi) to extend its current manufacturing facility located at the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area, and to build pre-filled injection production lines for Lantus® (Insulin Glargine) SoloSTAR®.

With an expected capacity up to 50 million units, the new Lantus® SoloSTAR® investment will allow sanofi-aventis to better meet the growth demand of the Chinese market and improve the standard of care to combat diabetes in China.

Guo Jinlong, Mayor of Beijing, met with Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis, and recognized sanofi-aventis’ commitment to China. Officials from Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area were also present at the meeting.

“The new Lantus® SoloSTAR® investment signifies a new milestone of sanofi-aventis’ commitment to China. As the first multinational healthcare company to establish offices in China, we remain convinced of the strategic importance of the Chinese market,” said Christopher A. Viehbacher. “We are particularly dedicated to investing in areas that can help China address its public health needs. Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a result of five years of R&D at the highest level. The local production of Lantus® SoloSTARr® at the new manufacturing site is scheduled to start in 2012, and it will bring great benefits to the diabetes patients in China,” added Mr Viehbacher.

Mr. Viehbacher also announced a new partnership with the Chinese Diabetes Society to initiate a diabetes genotyping project involving more than 46,000 diabetic and non-diabetic patients. This landmark study will analyze in-depth genetic factors to better understand the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, which could allow for the early detection of individuals at risk for developing diabetes and define effective risk prevention strategies. Furthermore, by defining new molecular targets, causally involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes, the results of this research might potentially help to develop new medicines for the prevention and/or treatment of diabetes.

The Lantus® investment follows a 94 million USD (700 million RMB) investment that sanofi-aventis made in 2007 to establish a high-tech manufacturing facility to produce Vaxigrip® for the prevention of seasonal influenza and to contribute to pandemic readiness in China. The two investments combined makes sanofi-aventis a leading investor in China’s biological field. Sanofi-aventis’ Shenzhen flu vaccine facility will complete construction this year, and enter the phase of equipment qualification and process validation. Vaxigrip® production is scheduled to start in 2012.

Posted: April 2009


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