The latest from French pharma where Sanofi has inked a deal to produce 125 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine as it faces delays with its in-house product and the impact of this on the country’s global scientific standing. Also featured are the rising problem of anti-vaccine sentiment, an exclusive interview with Ipsen CEO David Loew, and the latest from fellow mid-cap Servier, which is continuing its R&D push in neurology.


French pharma giant signs deal to produce 125 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine (The Local)

French pharma group Sanofi is “proud” of the solidarity it has shown in agreeing to help produce 125 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by rivals Pfizer-BioNTech, a senior executive said on Wednesday.


‘Humiliation’: French see Covid-19 vaccine flops as sign of decline (France24)

France’s slip from frontrunner to laggard in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine has sparked dismay among politicians, reigniting a debate about the country’s scientific prowess and its global standing.

France, the land of vaccine pioneer Louis Pasteur, has a long and celebrated history when it comes to medical breakthroughs. With the world-renowned research centre that bears his name in Paris, the Pasteur Institute, as well as leading pharma group Sanofi, the country looked well positioned in the race to produce a jab against the novel coronavirus.

But the Pasteur Institute announced Monday that it was abandoning research on its most promising prospect, while Sanofi – an early frontunner in the vaccine race – has said its candidate for inoculation will not be ready before the end of 2021 at best.


From vaccine creation to trepidation: France’s struggle with anti-vaxxers (Euronews)

As vaccination against COVID-19 gears up in Europe, so are the campaigns discrediting vaccines led by the so-called anti-vaxxers. Distrust and even opposition to vaccines are very prevalent in France. Recent polls by Nature Medicine and Wellcome Global Monitor 2018 demonstrate this lack of confidence the French have in vaccine efficiency and safety. The distrust also seems to be shared across gender, origin and social-economic status. This latent hesitancy is what anti-vaxxers are trying to capitalise on. But for what reason?


Ipsen CEO David Loew on M&A, Rare Disease Expansion, Niche Oncology Focus & More (PharmaBoardroom)

In a wide-ranging and exclusive interview with PharmaBoardroom, Ipsen CEO David Loew looks back on an atypical first 100 days at the helm of the iconic French mid-cap; its EUR 3 billion war chest for bolt-on acquisitions; planned expansions in rare- and ultra-rare diseases; and the niche oncology segments where Ipsen can achieve success. Loew also outlines the cultural transformation underway within Ipsen and makes a clarion call for greater collaboration across the industry to solve the most challenging global healthcare problems.


Servier and MiNA Therapeutics ink neurology pact (Pharma Times)

French pharma company Servier has entered into a research partnership with UK biotech MiNA Therapeutics to develop small activating RNA (saRNA) therapies for the treatment of neurological diseases. Under the terms of the deal, MiNA will engage its saRNA platform to identify new potential treatments with the aim of restoring normal cell function in neurological disorders.


“Very, very busy” Servier Pharma enough to keep CEO up at night (The Pharma Letter) [Registration]

Large, privately-held European drugmakers are not typically identified with dynamism and a bold, acquisitive…