User:Younkin/Sanofi Aventis

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Basic Information

HQ Contact information

Corporate headquarters:
174 avenue de France
75013 Paris
Phone: (33) 1 5377 4000
Phone (Media): (33) 1 5377 4076
Fax (33) 1 5377 4174

U.S. office:
55 Corporate Drive
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Phone: 800-981-2491

Country of incorporation


Ownership status


Primary industry sector

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Human Vaccines

Primary industry ranking

  • 2006:
Fortune 500: 159[1]
Forbes Global 2000: 74[2]
Forbes 2000 Profit Rank: 81
Financial Times Global 500: 39
  • 2005:
Fortune 500: 321
Forbes Global 2000: 58

Number of employees worldwide


Chief executive officer

Gerard Le Fur, 56

Financial information

Ticker symbol

NYSE: SNY Euronext: SAN

Investor website

List of largest shareholders[4]

Total S.A,, 12.65%,
L’Oreal, 10.13%
KPC Corp 6.19%
Employees, 1.23%

Total revenue[5]


Net income[6]


Detailed Information

Company history

Sanofi-Aventis was formed, in 2004, by the merger of Sanofi-Synthelabo and Aventis. Each of which was themselves the product of a long history of mergers. The resulting company was, and remains, the largest pharmaceutical company in Europe.

Sanofi was founded in 1973 by Elf Aquitaine, a French oil company, when it took control of Labaz Pharmaceutical. Sanofi’s first product, Ticlid, launched in 1978. In 1994 it attempted to increase it’s presence in the US market through the purchase of Sterling Winthrop(a failed affiliate of Eastman Kodak). It achieved its first large-scale success in the United States with Aprovel, in 1997, followed by Plavix, in 1998. It merged in 1999 with Synthelabo to form Sanofi-Synthelabo.

Synthelabo was founded in 1970 through the merger of two older French firms, Lab Dausse and Lab Robert & Carriere. The resulting company was purchased by L’Oreal in 1973. Synthelabo’s first major product, Stilnox/Ambien reached the European market in 1988 and became, by 1994, the leading insomnia prescription in the world.

Aventis was itself formed in 1999 by the merger of Rhone-Poulenc and Hoescht, two large and long-standing European pharmaceutical firms.

Toxic Antibiotic Trial

In 2006, an antibiotic from Sanofi-Aventis continued to be used in drug trials with more than 900 children worldwide, even after it was found to cause four times the average rate of acute liver failure in adults. The continued trials of the drug Ketek (Telithromycin) were criticized by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and a study consultant.

Initially, Sanofi-Aventis defended the antibiotic as safe when used as directed. [1] However, after a flurry of negative reports, the company announced on June 8, 2006, that it was voluntarily ceasing the Ketek trials involving children. The FDA also ceased recruitment for the study.

The criticism before Sanofi-Aventis' reversal was scathing. "How does one justify balancing the risk of fatal liver failure against one day less of ear pain?" asks Dr. Rosemary Johann-Liang, of the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, in a memo uncovered by the New York Times. [2] Duke University infectious disease specialist Dr. Danny Benjamin called the pediatric trial "hard to support." Benjamin also noted that antibiotics are less frequently recommended for pediatric treatment of routine ear infections. [3]

Public Relations Contracts

In February 2007, PR Week reported that Sanofi-Aventis' vaccine business, Sanofi Pasteur, had "awarded business for half its product lines, including its candidate 5-in-1 vaccine Pentacel, to Publicis Public Relations." The contract is "a joint collaboration between Manning Selvage & Lee and Publicis Consultants PR, Publicis' newly rebranded PR offering." The firms will also be promoting "Adacel, the new Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine for adolescents and adults," added PR Week. [4]

Business scope

Lines of business

  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Thrombosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic Conditions
  • Human Vaccines


  • Aventis Inc, US
  • Aventis Pharmaceutical, US
  • Aventis Pharma SA, France
  • Hoescht GmBh, Germany
  • Sanofi-Aventis Amerique du Nord, France
  • Sanofi-Aventis Deuschland GmBh, Germany
  • Sanofi-Pasteur, US
  • Sanofi-Synthelabo, US
  • Sanofi-Aventis Europe, France

Major Products[7]

  • Thrombosis
  • Lovenox
  • Plavix
  • Cardiovascular
  • Aprovel
  • Tritace
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Lantus
  • Amaryl
  • Oncology
  • Taxotere
  • Eloxatine
  • Central Nervous System
  • Stilnox/Ambien
  • Copaxone
  • Depakine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Allegra
  • Nasacort
  • Catral
  • Actonel


Bristol-Myers Squibb
Wyeth Labs

Geographic scope

Countries of operation

Primarily France, the United States and Japan. But they have operations in over 100 countries.

Breakdown of revenues[8]


  • By Division:
Vaccines: €2,533
Pharmaceuticals: €25,840
  • By Geographic Area:
Europe: €12,219
United States: €9,966
Other Countries: €6,188

Past Revenues(millions):

  • 2005: €27,311
  • 2004: €14,871

Revenue By Product (million euros)[9]

1. Lovenox/Clexane

  • Europe: 689
  • US: 1,502
  • Other: 244

2. Plavix/Iscover:

  • Europe: 1,617
  • US: 156
  • Other: 456

3. Stilnox/Ambien/Ambien CR

  • Europe: 95
  • US: 1,838
  • Other: 93

4. Taxotere

  • Europe: 714
  • US: 708
  • Other: 330

5. Eloxatin

  • Europe: 564
  • US: 965
  • Other: 164

6. Lantus

  • Europe: 520
  • US: 1,006
  • Other: 140

7. Copaxone:

  • Europe: 279
  • US: 733
  • Others: 57

Breakdown of profits[10]

  • 2006: €7,040,000
  • 2005: €6,335,000

Breakdown of assets

Breakdown of employees[11]


  • 2006: 100,289
  • By Function:
  • Sales: 35,902
  • Manufacturing: 31,735
  • R&D: 18,981
  • Other: 13,671
  • By Area:
  • France: 28,964
  • Other Europe: 27,522
  • US: 16,196
  • Japan: 2,928
  • Other Countries: 24,679
  • 2005: 97,181
  • 2004: 96,439



Gerard Le Fur, CEO
Hanspeter Spek, Executive VP, Pharmaceutical Operations
Jean-Claude Leroy, Executive VP, Finance and Legal
Pierre Chancel, Sr VP, Global Marketing
Olivier Charmeil, Sr VP, Pharmaceutical Operations Asia/Pacific
Marc Cluzel, Sr VP, Scientific and Medical Operations
Laurence Debroux, CFO

Board members & affiliations[13]

  • Jean-Francois Dehecq, Chairman
Former CEO
  • Gerard Le Fur, CEO
  • Jurgen Dormann, Vice Chairman
  • Rene Barbler de La Serre
  • Jean-Marc Bruel
  • Robert Castalgne
  • Thierry Demarest
  • Lord Douro
  • Jean-Rene Fourtou
  • Serge Kampf
  • Igor Landau
  • Hubert Markl
  • Christian Mulliez
  • Lindsay Owen-Jones
  • Klaus Pohle
  • Gerard Van Kemmel
  • Bruno Weymuller

Executive/director compensation

€3,084,090 to former CEO, Jean-Francois Dehecq

€2,093,758 to current CEO, Gerard Le Fur

Political & public influence

Political contributions

Sanofi-Aventis gave $125,500 to federal candidates in the 2006 U.S. election through its political action committee - 17% to Democrats, 79% to Republicans, and 4% to other parties. [14]


The company spent $5,700,423 for lobbying in the U.S. in 2006. Some of the lobbying firms used were Hogan & Hartson, Parry Romani DeConcini & Symms, Ricchetti Inc, and Ernst & Young. [15]

Corporate Accountability

Social responsibility initiatives

  • Aventis Foundation
The Aventis Foundation, a charitable trust, was established in 1996 as the Hoechst Foundation with an endowment of €50 million. In 2000, the foundation was renamed the Aventis Foundation subsequent to the 1999 merger of Hoechst and Rhône-Poulenc. The foundation was responsible for sponsoring the Aventis Prizes for Science Books, which celebrate the very best in popular science writing for adults and children, and which have grown to be one of the world's most prestigious non-fiction literary prizes. In 2006, the foundation severed its connection with the prizes and from 2007 they have been known as the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books and are managed by the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science.
  • Impact Malaria
An initiative funded by Sanofi-Aventis that aims to raise awareness about malaria and provide affected countries with a range of quinine-based products to help reduce the number of malaria cases.[16]
  • Humanitarian Issues
Sanofi-Aventis commited €40 million in 2006 to 50 programs in 40 countires. These programs address issues of disease prevention, education, and access to health care. The majority of these are carried out with assistance from partner NGOs.[17]

Environment & product safety

Human rights

Anti-trust, consumer protection, tax practices

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


External resources

External articles

Books on company