Specialist Sub-editor / Correspondent, Political Risk Asia, Singapore
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Apr 10, 2014

French plan to push copycat biotech drugs worries Big Pharma

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) – France is going out on a limb
with a plan to push the use of cheap copies of biotech drugs,
triggering alarm among companies in Europe’s second-biggest
pharmaceutical market behind Germany.

The government quietly introduced the measure allowing
pharmacists to substitute prescribed brand-name biotech drugs
with cheaper, similar versions in its 2014 healthcare budget.

Apr 2, 2014

Sanofi eyes more acquisitions, sees growth in Africa

PARIS (Reuters) – Sanofi (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is on the lookout for acquisitions to boost key business units, such as consumer and animal health products, and expects strong growth in the “strategic continent” of Africa, its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

Chris Viehbacher declined to say whether the group would be interested in Merck & Co’s (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) non-prescription consumer business or Novartis’s (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) animal health operations.

Mar 25, 2014

Sanofi faces make-or-break verdict on big dengue vaccine bet

NEUVILLE-SUR-SAONE, France (Reuters) – Sanofi expects final clinical results for its vaccine against dengue by late September, the French drugmaker’s project leader has told Reuters, and has already gambled on starting production despite some disappointing early trials data.

Sanofi has invested more than one billion euros in the project and is hoping to become the first drugmaker to sell such a shot next year after two decades of research on the world’s fastest-growing tropical disease, for which there is no preventative treatment.

Mar 19, 2014

BioMerieux to look at Siemens microbiology unit: CEO

PARIS (Reuters) – French diagnostics specialist BioMerieux (BIOX.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will look at the microbiology unit Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is considering selling, BioMerieux’s Chief Executive told Reuters.

Sources have told Reuters Siemens may sell the business, which makes tools to detect bacteria and test antibiotics and is part of its diagnostics division, and that bankers are pitching it to likely buyers at around $500 million.

Mar 7, 2014

Danone could spend Medical Nutrition cash on baby food, dairy deals

PARIS, March 7 (Reuters) – If French food group Danone
decides to sell its slowing medical nutrition business, it is
most likely to invest the proceeds in its faster growth baby
food and dairy businesses, targeting acquisitions in Asia and

Reuters reported last month that the world’s No 1 yoghurt
maker was considering selling the unit which makes tube feeding
and other products, which has been under pressure from declining
healthcare budgets in Europe.

Mar 5, 2014

Stallergenes appoints former Actelion manager as new CEO

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) – France’s Stallergenes
said on Wednesday it had appointed former Actelion
manager Christian Chavy as its new chief executive to drive the
company’s expansion into the U.S. immunotherapy market.

Stallergenes is hoping to win by the end of the month a U.S.
green light to launch its immunotherapy pill Oralair for the
treatment of grass allergies.

Mar 4, 2014

Elior aims for summer return to Paris stock market

PARIS, March 4 (Reuters) – Caterer Elior said on Tuesday it
would return to French stock market by the summer after an
eight-year absence, in an estimated 4 billion euro ($5.51
billion) flotation that could be one of the largest on the Paris
bourse this year.

“Elior confirms (it is) preparing a stock market listing on
Euronext Paris by Summer 2014,” a company spokesman said.

Nov 15, 2013

Carmat aims for EU approval of artificial heart by early 2015

PARIS (Reuters) – Carmat hopes to finish human trials of its artificial heart by the end of next year and to obtain regulatory approval for an EU launch by early 2015, its chief executive told Reuters.

The French company is also seeking a partner in the United States to enter the world’s largest healthcare market, and is in contact with Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, St Jude Medical and Edwards Lifesciences, Marcello Conviti said.

Oct 14, 2013

Sanofi’s home market France may be its biggest handicap

PARIS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Sanofi, trying to
squeeze more out of R&D spending like other big drugmakers, is
finding its home market France a difficult place to cut costs
because of complex labour laws, union opposition and a
government eager to protect jobs.

The company, which scaled back job cut plans in France a
year ago due to political pressure, will start a new round of
talks with unions on Tuesday that are likely to be tough.

Oct 4, 2013

China woes to dominate Danone quarterly sales report

PARIS (Reuters) – As French foods group Danone SA (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) grapples with a series of problems in China and other Asian markets, a sales update due in mid October will give the company the next chance to enlighten investors on the overall impact.

So far the maker of Aptamil, Actimel and Activia has played down the effects, even of an Asian recall of high-margin baby formula, but its sangfroid could yet be tested.

    • About Daniel

      "Daniel is based in Singapore, where he writes and edits stories on politics, risk and international relations in the Asia-Pacific region. He is currently on assignment in Afghanistan. Before moving to Asia, he was West and Central Africa correspondent for Reuters."
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