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Sanofi-Aventis ( , ), headquartered in Parismarker, Francemarker, is a multinational pharmaceutical company, the world's fourth-largest by prescription sales. 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 develops over-the-counter medication. Sanofi-Aventis covers 7 major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, central nervous system, diabetes, internal medicine, oncology, thrombosis and vaccines (it is the world's largest producer of the latter through its subsidiary Sanofi Pasteur). The company is a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).



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 Frenchmarker 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 Swissmarker 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.


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



Pharmaceuticals produced by Sanofi-Aventis include Lovenox/Clexane for thrombosis (its biggest seller in 2008), Plavix/Iscover for atherothrombosis, Lantus for diabetes, Taxotere for breast, lung and prostate cancer, Eloxatin for colorectal cancer, Stilnox/Ambien/Ambien CR/Myslee/Zolfresh/Zolt/Stilnoct for insomnia, Copaxone for multiple sclerosis, Aprovel/Avapro/Karvea and Delix/Tritace/Triatec for hypertension, Allegra/Telfast and Nasacort for allergic rhinitis, Menactra for meningitis, Xatral for benign prostatic hyperplasia, Actonel for osteoporosis and Paget’s disease and Depakine and Depakote for epilepsy.


  • Jean-François Dehecq, Chairman
  • Chris Viehbacher, CEO
Dehecq was the General Manager of Sanofi from its creation in 1973 until 2007.


As of 31 January 2009:
  • Breakdown of share ownership: 11.09% by Total, 8.99% by L'Oréal, 0.76% treasury shares and 1.30% employees. The remaining 77.86% are publicly traded.
  • Voting rights distribution: 18.11% to Total, 14.89% to L'Oréal, 1.96% to employees, and 65.04% 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. The company is expanding its activities in joint research projects within the framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative of EFPIA and the European Commissionmarker.

Aventis Foundation

The Aventis Foundation , a Germanmarker 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, research (healthcare).

See also


  1. IMS Health 2008
  2. Sanofi-Aventis splits chairman-CEO job; Dehecq stays chairman, Le Fur named CEO 15.12.2006
  3. Chris Viehbacher wird Nachfolger von Sanofi-Aventis-Chef Le Fur 10.09.2008
  4. Mattes WB (2008), Public consortium efforts in toxicogenomics, Methods Mol Biol. 2008;460:221-38 [1]

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