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Sanofi-Aventis (EuronextSANNYSESNY), headquartered in ParisFrance, is a multinational pharmaceutical company, the world’s fourth-largest by prescription sales.[2][3]Sanofi-Aventis engages in the research and development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for sale principally in the prescription market, but the firm also developsover-the-counter medication. Sanofi-Aventis covers 7 major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular,central nervous systemdiabetesinternal medicineoncologythrombosis and vaccines (it is the world’s largest producer of the latter through its subsidiary Sanofi Pasteur).[4] The company is a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations(EFPIA).[5]



  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Sanofi-Aventis
    • 1.2 Sanofi-Synthélabo
    • 1.3 Aventis
    • 2 Business
      • 2.1 Products
      • 2.2 Management
      • 2.3 Stockholders
      • 3 Collaborative research
      • 4 Aventis Foundation
      • 5 See also
      • 6 References
      • 7 External links



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Sanofi-Aventis was formed in 2004 when Sanofi-Synthélabo acquired Aventis. In early 2004, Sanofi-Synthélabo made a hostile takeover bid worth €47.8 bn for Aventis. Initially, Aventis rejected the bid because it felt that the bid offered inferior value based on the company’s share value. The three-month takeover battle concluded when Sanofi-Synthélabo launched a friendly bid of €54.5 bn in place of the previously rejected hostile bid. French government intervention also played an active role. The French government, desiring what they called a “local solution”, put heavy pressure on Sanofi-Synthélabo to raise its bid for Aventis after it became known that Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, was in the running.


Sanofi-Synthélabo was formed in 1999 when Sanofi (former subsidiary of Total) merged with Synthélabo (former subsidiary of L’Oréal). The merged company was based in Paris, France.


Main article: Aventis

Aventis was formed in 1999 when French company Rhône-Poulenc S.A. merged with the German corporation Hoechst Marion Roussel, which itself was formed from the 1995 merger of Hoechst AG with Roussel Uclaf and Marion Merrell Dow. The merged company was based in Schiltigheim, near Strasbourg, France.



Pharmaceuticals produced by Sanofi-Aventis include Lovenox/Clexane for thrombosis (its biggest seller in 2008),[6] Plavix/Iscover for atherothrombosis, Apidra and Lantus for diabetesTaxotere for breastlung and prostate cancerEloxatin for colorectal cancer,Stilnox/Ambien/Ambien CR/Myslee/Zolfresh/Zolt/Stilnoct for insomniaCopaxone for multiple sclerosisAprovel/Avapro/Karvea and Delix/Tritace/Triatec for hypertensionAllegra/Telfast and Nasacort for allergic rhinitis, Menactra for meningitisXatral for benign prostatic hyperplasiaActonel for osteoporosis and Paget’s disease and Depakine and Depakote for epilepsy, Biprofened for pain.


  • Jean-François Dehecq, Chairman[7]
  • Chris Viehbacher, CEO[8]

Dehecq was the General Manager of Sanofi from its creation in 1973 until 2007.


As of 31 January 2010:[1]

  • Breakdown of share ownership: 6.96% by Total, 8.97% by L’Oréal, 0.71% treasury shares and 1.37% employees. The remaining 77.86% are publicly traded.
  • Voting rights distribution: 11.76% to Total, 15.36% to L’Oréal, 2.10% to employees, and 70.78% to the public.

[Collaborative research

In addition to internal research and development activities Sanofi-Aventis is also involved in publicly funded collaborative research projects, with other industrial and academic partners. One example in the area of non-clinical safety assessment is the InnoMed PredTox.[9][10] The company is expanding its activities in joint research projects within the framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative of EFPIA and theEuropean Commission.[11]

In June 2010, Sanofi-aventis and the Charite University of Berlin signed a cooperation agreement for the research and development of medicines and therapies.[12]

Aventis Foundation

The Aventis Foundation [13], a German 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. Its aim is to promote music, theater, art, literature, higher education and healthcare research.

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