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L-R: John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc.; Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited; Russell Williams, President, Rx&D



Montreal, November 17, 2015 – On behalf of the Board of Directors of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), President Russell Williams has conferred a Honourary Life Achievement designation to Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited for his service and leadership in the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Canada.

This designation recognizes Mr. Lievonen’ leadership, outstanding achievements in the pharmaceutical industry and unwavering dedication to sustainable healthcare in Canada, as an outward reflection of Rx&D’s spirit of innovation. The award was given at a ceremony at the Making Canada Better 2015 Conference.


Quick Facts

  • Mark Lievonen has been President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited for 17 years and has been appointed to the Order of Canada.
  • He is the Past Chair of Rx&D’s Board of Directors, Vice-Chair of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and serves on the Boards of the Public Policy Forum and BIOTECanada.
  • He holds a BBA in accounting and an MBA in finance and marketing from York University and has received an honourary doctorate of laws degree from York University.
  • He is the recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and has been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Mérite by the government of France.


“I’m grateful and tremendously proud, honored and humbled to receive this honour from Rx&D. It’s very gratifying to work in an industry that seeks to improve the quality of life for all Canadians. I’m fortunate to have worked with many inspiring individuals along the way – strong, passionate colleagues who share a like-minded approach to creating an innovative and sustainable healthcare system in Canada.” – Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited

“Mark Lievonen has dedicated his entire career to advancing Canada’s life sciences ecosystem and working to demonstrate the incredible value of vaccines to Canadian health and healthcare sustainability. This recognition speaks directly to his dedication and it is well deserved.” – Russell Williams, President, Rx&D

“The entire Board of Rx&D is proud to celebrate Mark Lievonen’s many achievements and bestow this honour upon him. Mark is a strong advocate for the life sciences sector and the pharmaceutical industry in Canada and has forged strong relationships with many different stakeholders. He is a role model in his approach to pursuing solutions to address the complex challenges of our healthcare system.” – John Helou, Chair, Rx&D Board of Directors and President, Pfizer Canada Inc.

– 30 –

For further information:

Sarah Douglas
Media Relations, Rx&D
Telephone: 613-883-7250

About Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. We serve our membership by advocating for policies that enable the discovery, development and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians. We support our memberships’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. We represent more than 50 companies investing over $1-billion in R&D annually, fuelling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing over $3-billion overall to Canada’s economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, we work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

Image with caption: L-R: John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc.; Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited; Russell Williams, President, Rx&D.
Photographer: Denis Drever


- Sixty-one per cent of Canadians surveyed say the availability of an influenza vaccine covering four strains instead of three
would make them more likely to get vaccinated this flu season -

TORONTOSept. 30, 2015 - Public Health authorities in Canada are taking steps to enhance influenza vaccination programs this season by offering access to four-strain quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV), an important measure to help prevent B-strain mismatch and reduce the impact of influenza in the population.  

For almost four decades, influenza vaccines have covered three strains. These vaccines, known as trivalent influenza vaccines, or TIV, have offered protection against two influenza A strains and one B strain.1 However, in the 1980s, the B virus split into two distinct lineages (B/Victoria and B/Yamagata), which now co-circulate worldwide.2,3 As a result, between 2001 and 2013, there has been a mismatch between the influenza B strain in the vaccine and the circulating B strain more than 50 per cent of the time (seven out of 12 seasons).4 QIV can help protect against four different influenza virus strains, including the two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.  

"A mismatch occurs when the predicted influenza strains in the vaccine are different from those circulating in the community; these mismatches can cause unexpected health implications," said Dr. Wayne Ghesquiere, Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine Consultant, Vancouver Island Health Authority, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia. "The potential for a mismatch between the B lineages is the reason behind the development of QIV. QIV helps reduce the possibility of B strain mismatches, which could result in better health outcomes, helps enhance public confidence and potentially boost annual vaccine uptake."  

Influenza B is unpredictable with some seasons seeing infection rates as low as 0.8 per cent to as high as 67 per cent of all circulating influenza viruses in Canada.5,6 Approximately 15 to 25 per cent of influenza-related hospital admissions and deaths are attributable to influenza B virus strains.7

Despite universal influenza vaccination programs offered by most provinces, only 25 to 30 per cent of adults between 18 to 64 years of age get the influenza shot each year.8 According to a recent survey that looked at opinions among Canadians about influenza vaccination, 57 per cent of those surveyed did not get vaccinated during the 2014/2015 season. Of these, almost half (48 per cent) said that their primary reason was due to their belief that the influenza vaccine would not be effective. Interestingly, 61 per cent of Canadians surveyed say the availability of an influenza vaccine containing four strains instead of three would make them more likely to get vaccinated this season; this suggests that the availability of a vaccine covering more strains could increase immunization rates.9

"Children and adults living with chronic conditions like asthma are at high risk of severe illness and complications from influenza, and the annual influenza vaccination is our best defense," said Noah Farber, Acting President and CEO, Asthma Society of Canada. "Having greater access to advanced vaccines is an important step in helping reduce the burden of influenza and helping protect those who are most vulnerable. We need to ensure all Canadians have access to these vaccines, so we can help increase overall health for everyone."

Currently, publicly funded access to QIV varies by province. A full QIV annual universal influenza immunization program is currently accessible to the general population six months of age and older in ManitobaYukon Territory, and several Atlantic provinces. Individuals in Canada who are interested in QIV should inquire with their local Public Health authorities regarding vaccine availability in their respective province.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that QIV be used where available.10 It is quickly becoming the standard of care in the U.S. for individuals six months and older.

In Canada, there are three manufacturers offering quadrivalent vaccines this fall: Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris ((EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: or


1Sanofi Pasteur Introduces 4-Strain Influenza Vaccine in Canada. Sanofi Pasteur. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available at  

2Belshe, RB. The need for quadrivalent vaccine against seasonal influenza. Vaccine 2010.

3Sanofi Pasteur Introduces 4-Strain Influenza Vaccine in Canada. Sanofi Pasteur. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available at

4An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS) National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) – Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2014-2015. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) July 2014.


62011-2012 FluWatch: August 12 to August 25, 2012 (Weeks 33 & 34). Public Health Agency of Canada. Accessed August 21, 2015. Available at

7Literature Review on Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccines. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) July 2014. AccessedAugust 31, 2015. Available at

8Influenza Immunization by Province. CANSIM. Statistics Canada. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available at  

9Flu Vaccines Survey, June 29-July 2, 2015. Leger, The Research Intelligence Group. Data on file.

10Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet N°211 March 2014. World Health Organization. Accessed August 31, 2015. Available at

SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur

Image with caption: "Four-Strain Influenza Vaccine Available this Flu Season in Public Health Programs (CNW Group/Sanofi Pasteur)". Image available at:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Sanofi Pasteur, Nancy Simpson, Director, Communications, T. 416.667.2955,


Every year, Sanofi Pasteur works in collaboration with the Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF) to award a $5,000 scholarship to a nursing student who is studying in the area of public health. The winner of the 2015-2016 Sanofi Pasteur Limited Scholarship in Public and Community Health Award is Georgia Dewart of the University of Alberta.

Georgia is researching ways to improve access to health services and prenatal care. Thanks to the Sanofi Pasteur/CNF scholarship, Georgia hopes to expand her skills and knowledge in both research methodology and community-based harm reduction, ultimately to help foster equitable access to health care across Canada for women and vulnerable populations.

Sanofi Pasteur appreciates the critical role nurses play in public health – both in terms of patient care and delivery of health services. Support of nursing research and education is an important way to further their development and recognize the essential work they do.


In an appointment announced by Rideau Hall on July 1, J. Mark Lievonen was named a Member of the Order of Canada, in recognition of his outstanding achievements, leadership and unwavering commitment to the pursuit of sustainable healthcare.

Mark’s appointment is made possible through nominations by close friends and colleagues, Dr. Calvin Stiller and York Centre MPP Monte Kwinter. Both commended Mark for his dedication to making a difference for all Canadians, citing his work with Sanofi Pasteur, the Sanofi Biogenius Challenge, and a number of organizations including the Markham-Stouffville Hospital, the Ontario Cancer Institute, and York University.

MPP Kwinter spoke of Mark’s “visionary leadership” and his drive to stimulate innovation, Canadian competitiveness and productivity. “Mark has transformed Sanofi Pasteur Canada – a vital manufacturing and R&D hub – into a global, billion-dollar biotechnology enterprise which stands as a symbol of Canadian talent, innovation and R&D excellence,” he said.

The Order of Canada is the country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement. Mark joins a list of deserving Canadians including scientists, doctors, educators, artists, etc. who have made a significant impact in their fields. Click here to see a full list of 2015 appointments in the July 1, edition of The Globe and Mail.

Congratulations on this great honour, Mark!


Austin Wang, Grade 11 Student from Vancouver, Recognized for Environmental Biotech


Montreal, Quebec – June 16, 2015 – Austin Wang, a grade 11 student at Vancouver’s David Thompson Secondary School, has won a prestigious international science award for his innovative research project focusing on renewable energy. Austin was awarded the Global Environment Challenge (industrial & environmental biotech) prize at the annual International BioGENEius Challenge final in Philadelphia today.

Austin’s project titled, Identifying Genes with Roles in Power Output of Exoelectrogenic Bacteria in Microbial Fuel Cells, seeks to identify genes that help bacteria improve their ability to generate electricity in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). The results of this research may eventually contribute to the commercialization of MFC technology.

“Austin achieved great success at the Sanofi Biogenius Canada national final. That he has now won such a prestigious international award reinforces the level of scientific talent in Canada. We are very proud of Austin’s win, and wish him the very best in his future endeavours” said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, one of the competition’s two title sponsors.

Austin was selected by industry and academic experts, beating 28 finalists from across the US, Canada and Germany. The Global Environment Challenge (industrial & environmental biotech), recognizes projects seeking to harness bacteria, yeasts and enzymes as sources of renewable energy. The award comes with a cash prize of $7,500 USD.

Organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based non-profit organization dedicated to biotechnology education, the International BioGENEius Challenge is the premier international competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding innovation in biotechnology.


About Sanofi –

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals, over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people. In 2014 Sanofi companies invested $130.5 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.


About Sanofi Biogenius Canada

Sanofi Biogenius Canada is one of the country’s most prestigious student science competitions, and pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs predominantly in the life sciences.  The Sanofi Group in Canada is proud to sponsor the Sanofi Biogenius Canada as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts and development of the next generation of Canadian life science research.

Follow Sanofi Canada on Twitter @SanofiCanada and on YouTube

Follow Sanofi Biogenius Canada on Twitter: @BiogeniusCA


Media Contacts:

Marc Holmes

NATIONAL Public Relations

Tel. : 514- 843-2373