Speaking at an event in Paris Philippe Luscan, who is EVP Industrial Affairs at Sanofi, said the firm routinely invests €1bn a year in its manufacturing network explaining that, of the 2017 allocation, €600m will be used to increase biologics production capacity.
Luscan added that over a period of five years, Sanofi has implemented an ongoing investment program in building internal production capabilities through a total investment of around €5bn.
A Sanofi spokesman confirmed the plan, telling us the biologics investment will be focused at the firms manufacturing sites in the US, France and Germany over the next two to three years.
Sanofi has increased its R&D focus on biologics in the past few years. According to Luscan in 2012 43% of the drugs in the firm’s pipeline where biologics while last year 60% were large molecule products.
The firm has also been spending more on production capacity.
In 2015 it said investment in biologics manufacturing capacity would increase capital expenditure (CapEx) from €1.2bn to between €1.8bn and €1.9bn.
In November 2015 when Sanofi started an assessment of its network of 102 sites as part of a €1.5bn cost-saving plan it said it would continue to expand biologics capacity to support “biopharmaceutical pipelines and growth.”
Since then Sanofi made a number of biologics-focused investments, including committing €300m to expand its biologics site at Geel in Belgium.
In February this year, Sanofi and Swiss life science supplier Lonza said they would spend €270m to build a biologics production facility at the latter’s facility in Visp, explaining that the plant will make monoclonal antibody-based drugs.