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Sanofi and PATH announce the Launch of Large-scale Production of Semisynthetic Artemisinin against Malaria

PR Newswire/Les Echos/ 
PRESS RELEASE 
Sanofi and PATH announce the Launch of Large-scale Production of Semisynthetic 


                          Artemisinin against Malaria
              - A pivotal milestone in the fight against malaria -
       - A new production line at Sanofi's manufacturing site in Italy -

Paris, France, and South San Francisco, California - April 11, 2013 - Sanofi
(EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and PATH's Drug Development program, established
through an affiliation with OneWorld Health, today announced the launch of the
large-scale production line of semisynthetic artemisinin at Sanofi's Garessio
site in Italy.

Global demand for artemisinin, the key ingredient of artemisinin-based
combination therapies (ACTs), has increased since the World Health Organization
identified ACTs as the most effective malaria treatment available. Because the
existing botanical supply of artemisinin - derived from the sweet wormwood plant
- is inconsistent, having multiple sources of high-quality artemisinin will
strengthen the artemisinin supply chain, contribute to a more stable price, and
ultimately ensure greater availability of treatment to people suffering from
malaria.

The development of a new commercial-scale alternative manufacturing process to
produce a complementary source of artemisinin started nine years ago, led by
OneWorld Health, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project
built upon pioneering synthetic biology work by Dr. Jay Keasling at the
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and involved a team of public
and private partners, including Sanofi and the synthetic biology innovator,
Amyris, Inc., to take the project from laboratory research to commercialization.

"Taking lifesaving innovation to scale requires many things, but it begins with
strong partnerships and keeping a close ear to what's most needed on the
ground," said Steve Davis, President and CEO of PATH. "That's why I'm extremely
pleased we've partnered with Sanofi in the scale up of semisynthetic
artemisinin, a key ingredient in the treatment for malaria. Promoting a steady
and affordable supply of high-quality artemisinin is a critical part of PATH's
efforts to ultimately eradicate malaria and advance health equity. A life free
from malaria is a life full of possibilities."

This innovative industrial process to produce semisynthetic artemisinin consists
in the production of artemisinic acid through fermentation - which is performed
by Huverpharma, in Bulgaria - followed by a synthetic transformation of the
artemisinic acid into artemisinin via photochemistry, which will be performed at
the Sanofi's Garessio site. Sanofi plans to produce 35 tons of artemisinin in
2013 and, on average, 50 to 60 tons per year by 2014, which corresponds to
between 80 and 150 million ACT treatments.

"Sanofi is very proud to announce the launch of large-scale production of
semisynthetic artemisinin at Sanofi's Garessio site in Italy," said Philippe
Luscan, Senior Vice-President, Industrial Affairs, Sanofi. "This production
milestone exemplifies Sanofi's industrial chemists' exceptional expertise and
innovative mindset and capabilities, for which we were honored with the French
Pierre Potier Scientific Prize in 2012."

Sanofi is committed to producing semisynthetic artemisinin using a no-profit,
no-loss production model, helping to maintain a low price for developing
countries.  This is a pivotal milestone in the fight against malaria, which
affects about 300 million people every year and was responsible for more than
650,000 deaths in 2010.
                                    ***

About the partnership
The partnership for semisynthetic artemisinin is led by OneWorld Health, PATH's
Drug Development program, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The project began in 2004, and partners include Sanofi, UC Berkeley, and Amyris.
The novel use of synthetic biology technology is based on pioneering inventions
from UC Berkeley, Amyris, the National Research Council Canada Plant
Biotechnology Institute, and GenoClipp Biotechnology BV. The chemistry expertise
and the industrial experience and capacity of Sanofi helped bring this project
from small laboratory experiments to production on the factory floor.

About PATH's Drug Development program
PATH's Drug Development program was established through its affiliation with
OneWorld Health, a nonprofit drug development organization. The program works to
develop and ensure the availability and accessibility of safe and effective new
medicines for diseases disproportionately affecting people in developing
countries. For more information, please visit:
http://sites.path.org/drugdevelopment/.

About PATH
PATH is an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health
through innovation. PATH takes an entrepreneurial approach to developing and
delivering high-impact, low-cost solutions, from lifesaving vaccines and devices
to collaborative programs with communities. Through its work in more than 70
countries, PATH and its partners empower people to achieve their full potential.
For more information, please visit www.path.org.

About Sanofi
Sanofi is a diversified world leader in healthcare, researching, developing, and
marketing therapeutic solutions based on patient needs. Sanofi has fundamental
advantages in the health sector with seven major growth areas: diabetes
management, human vaccines, innovative products, consumer healthcare, emerging
markets, animal health, and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is quoted in Paris
(Euronext: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Contacts:

Sanofi                                   PATH

Media Relations                          Media Relations
Frédéric Lemonde-San                     Elena Pantjushenko
Phone: + (33) 1 53 77 46 46              Phone: 650.392.2537
Email: frederic.lemonde@sanofi.com       Email: epantjushenko@path.org


                  
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-0- Apr/11/2013 11:21 GMT
 
 
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