Sanofi to cut French jobs

French drugmaker Sanofi, which is a significant employer in Ireland, has told unions that it is planning to cut 670 jobs in France over the next two years.

Screengrab from Sanofi website

Between the former Genzyme plant in Waterford, which it acquired as part of a $20bn (€17.65n) global deal seven years ago, and a facility in west Dublin, Sanofi employs about 700 people in the Republic.

The French job cuts’ plan, which is to be voluntary, would affect human resources, IT, and finances among others, Thierry Bodin, with the CGT union said. In addition, 80 IT jobs are to be outsourced, he said.

This is a terrible loss of expertise. It will have consequences in terms of efficiency,” said Bodin.

Sanofi had said in September it would continue to implement cost savings after having reached a €1.5bn cost reduction target a year ahead of expectations.

“We are blindsided as Sanofi makes significant amounts of profits. And at a time of strong social tensions in France, the government is looking the other way”, Bodin said in reference to the yellow vest protests which led to the worst riots seen in central Paris in five decades last weekend.

A Sanofi spokesman confirmed the company’s intention to shed 670 jobs out of a 25,000 workforce in France and said that the plan was to be completed by the end of 2020.

At the same time, Sanofi will invest €700m in France to upgrade its production sites, notably in the areas of vaccines manufacturing and other biologic medicines.

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration regulator gave more positive feedback on the Dupixent eczema treatment being developed by Sanofi and Regeneron.

Sanofi and Regeneron are developing Dupixent to treat conditions including paediatric asthma, chronic sinus infection with nasal polyps, and adolescent eczema.

Reuters and Irish Examiner

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