Turning the miracles of science into reality for patients – POLITICO

Turning the miracles of science into reality for patients – POLITICO

Brendan O’Callaghan, Executive Vice President of Global Industrial Affairs at Sanofi

Brendan O’Callaghan is executive vice president of global industrial affairs at Sanofi. He talks about global manufacturing operations, supporting Sanofi’s increasingly diverse pipeline, and taking a digital approach to chasing the miracles of science that will help transform the practice of medicine for patients.

Q. How would you explain industrial affairs in a pharmaceutical company?

A. We manufacture, supply and distribute medicines to patients around the world. We have a very extensive network, with more than 65 locations in 30 countries and supplying 140 countries worldwide.

When our research colleagues discover a new drug, they develop a first process by which we can produce it. Our responsibility is to then transfer this technology to our larger scale manufacturing network. This allows us to launch the product, get it approved by regulatory authorities, and then scale up manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for these treatments across the global network we serve.

Q. How has COVID-19 changed your mindset or approach to operations, and have there been any specific changes particularly relevant to Europe?

A. I think COVID has been a catalyst to reveal fragilities in Europe related to pharmaceutical innovation and manufacturing capabilities. We have learned the importance of supply chain resilience and being able to withstand shocks, in order to also protect Europe’s health and technical sovereignty.

It is important to have a really solid health infrastructure. The COVID-19 crisis has prompted therapies to reach patients in record time, with ongoing reviews and scientific dialogue demonstrating their value during vaccine development and registration in the EU. It is clear that during COVID this has been done under extreme challenge and crisis management situations, and it has shown that we can move forward quickly and without compromising on safety, quality or efficiency.

What we have learned is the importance of supply chain resilience to protect Europe’s health and technical sovereignty.

Brendan O’Callaghan, Executive Vice President of Global Industrial Affairs at Sanofi

If you look at COVID alone, it’s obvious that mRNA technology was at the forefront of providing a rapid response. Much of this discovery came from Europe, which shows that we have the capabilities for scientific innovation here.

However, the challenge for Europe is to harness and develop this science and innovation capacity. This is an opportunity to see how we can bring all of these building blocks together in terms of healthcare innovation more broadly. I think it will be important to define a long-term vision of where Europe wants to go to help us deliver and connect this whole ecosystem. If we fail to leverage this capacity to scale innovation, we risk being left behind in terms of scientific advancement and better serving public health.

Q. Sanofi has recently made significant investments related to its industrial network. In Europe, which investments are you most proud of?

A. We have many reasons to be proud at Sanofi. We are one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Europe, with nearly two-thirds of our global footprint here. We have more than 40 production sites on the continent, including 18 in France alone, which cover all the manufacturing stages: from the active ingredient to the final galenic form. All of these capabilities — across all technology platforms — exist within Sanofi today, so we’re very proud of them.

We continuously invest in our facilities, reaching more than one billion euros per year worldwide. But more importantly, we are investing for the future, to bring the latest technologies and innovations to help us be more effective and efficient. For example, we announced that we will invest in two facilities which we call EVF (Evolutive Vaccine Facility) – one of which will be located in France and the other in Singapore. It sets a new standard for manufacturing large molecules or biologics and vaccines, enabling flexible manufacturing at scale and speed. These facilities will give us the flexibility to move from one type of product to another within the same facility, which will allow us to meet the scientific needs coming from our research laboratories and give us the agility to quickly respond to needs of growing patient populations.

But, to answer your specific question, what I am most proud of are the women and men who, every day, work to discover, develop and achieve scientific miracles that help patients in Europe and around the world to live a healthier, better and longer life.

Q. Our world is now predominantly digital. Can you tell us about your digital roadmap for industrial affairs at Sanofi?

A. Accelerating knowledge and understanding of biology creates new opportunities for science and innovation in our laboratories. We see a shift in manufacturing. Rather than institutions providing drugs to very large patient populations, we are moving into an era of much more personalized approaches to healthcare.

We need to look to capabilities that allow us to move quickly from one product to another. Part of our ability to do this will be our ability to automate and digitize, to ensure that we capture all the data we need to really understand our processes better. They can therefore become more reliable and efficient, allowing even greater access and reach to patients around the world.

For example, we recently announced a partnership with McLaren, where we leverage technology, data and analytics to accelerate our manufacturing efficiency and set standards of truly class-leading performance excellence. world here as part of the Sanofi team. The Formula 1 industry is driven by innovation in a competitive, high-performance team environment where the margins between success and failure are very small. We work with a team of people from McLaren, leveraging their experience and expertise in precision engineering and advanced analytics to capture the important data from our manufacturing equipment. We then use this advanced data in machine learning and AI to help us optimize the performance of our production lines. We are building this partnership with a clear objective: to improve the efficiency of our manufacturing in order to accelerate the distribution of our drugs and vaccines to ever more patients around the world.

Q. About a year ago, Sanofi announced its commitment to working for a healthier planet. What are your main objectives and actions in this area?

A. We all see the impacts of climate change before us, and we all understand the sense of urgency to address them. At Sanofi, as a healthcare company focused on improving and extending life, we take our responsibility extremely seriously in trying to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment and local communities where we operate.

That’s why we’re committed to being carbon neutral in all of our operations by 2030 and to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We aim to have all of our locations worldwide use 100% electricity renewable by 2030.

These are pretty ambitious goals from where we start today. We are accelerating team mobilization and working hard with our technology partners to identify innovative technologies that can help us move towards our goals. I believe that the current situation in Europe, with the tragic circumstances in Ukraine, reinforces the priority of climate change, carbon neutrality and, ultimately, a more efficient use of our scarce natural resources, in particular for the ‘energy.

In conclusion:

What gets us out of bed every day is our opportunity to positively impact the health and lives of people everywhere.

Brendan O’Callaghan, Executive Vice President of Global Industrial Affairs at Sanofi

About Sanofi

We are an innovative global healthcare company driven by one purpose: we pursue the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. Our team, present in over 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We bring potentially game-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people around the world, while placing sustainability and social responsibility at the center of our ambitions.

Sanofi is listed on EURONEXT: SAN and NASDAQ: SNY

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