News Archives

04/24/2013

Model, snowboarder and meningitis survivor Amy Purdy feels lucky: find out why.

 

Meningitis is a serious illness which can cause death in less than 24 hours. Active immunization is the best protection.

Since 1974, Sanofi Pasteur has been present in the fight against meningitis with the Meningo A+C vaccines, which continue to play a vital role in the prevention of meningococcal diseases in Africa and other regions.

From the 1981 launch of Menomune® onwards, patients were able to benefit from our first tetravalent polysaccharide vaccine against serogroups A, C, Y and W-135. The range was enlarged in 2005 with the introduction of Menactra® which is licensed in more than 40 countries.

Today, Menactra® is the only tetravalent conjugate vaccine indicated for children (from nine months old).

04/23/2013

Coquitlam girl, 17, investigated how genetic mutations naturally help some HIV patients escape symptoms

 

Chicago, IL April 23, 2013 - Selin Jessa of Coquitlam, B.C. has been awarded the fourth place, $1,000 prize in this year’s International BioGENEius Challenge science competition for high school students at the Biotechnology Industry Association’s annual conference in Chicago. 

The 17-year-old Jessa competed against fellow Canadian Arjun Nair of Calgary, 10 finalists from the US BioGENEius Challenge and two students from the Western Australia version of the competition. Jessa and Nair won the opportunity to compete at BIO by taking the second and first prizes respectively in the national competition of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada earlier this month.

Her research involved genetic variations found among a rare few HIV-infected patients, known as "elite controllers”, whose immune systems naturally control common symptoms of the virus. The immune responses of elite controllers are so effective that HIV can only survive through mutations that compromise its ability to replicate. Selin engineered a mutant version of a specific HIV protein, an important step in identifying these viral mutations that may help design vaccines or other HIV therapies.  Project description: http://bit.ly/16u1zZj

This latest award brings the Grade 12 student’s cash prizes to a total of $7,500 from the provincial, national and international BioGENEius Challenge competitions. She attends the Dr. Charles Best Secondary School in Coquitlam and carried out her research at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Launched at BIO’s first international conference in Toronto in 1994 and celebrating 20 years of competitions, the BioGENEius Challenge provides young scientists with access to professional labs and academic mentors, encouraging them to pursue future studies and careers in the fast-growing biotechnology sector.

Among the judges in this year’s international competition was Robert Merson, a participant in that first competition and now a consultant in the biotechnology industry. Also attending BIO was Ted Paranjothy of Manitoba, who won the provincial, Canadian and international BioGENEius Challenges in 2007.  Ted was the guest speaker at the luncheon hosted by Gowlings, a Canadian legal firm, and also spoke with the American, Canadian and Australian BioGENEius competitors about his academic and work career since winning all three awards. 

Both the US national and international BioGENEius Challenge competitions are organized by the Washington-based Biotechnology Institute, the national organization dedicated to biotechnology education, and sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi; and Janssen.

Further support for the BioGENEius Challenge is provided by International Supporters: The Astellas Foundation, BIO, Genentech and MedImmune; and U.S. National Supporters: Acorda Therapeutics, The Allergan Foundation and Sangamo BioSciences.

 

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. The initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the National Research Council Canada/ Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC), York University, Genome Canada and the Government of Canada’s Youth Awareness Program. Canada’s respected Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada has inspired counterpart competitions in the USA and Australia.

Media Contacts:

 

Jason LeSAGE

Vancouver

604.602.5227; 604.910.6881

 

Terry COLLINS

tc@tca.tc

Tel: 416-878-8712; 416-538-8712 

04/22/2013

Whether you are a parent, a young adult or a senior, talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or local public health office about being up to date on your immunizations.

Immunize.ca provides informative resources on immunization.
 

04/11/2013

30-year Industry Veteran Advocate for Advancing Science, Innovation and Canadian Competitiveness

 

Toronto, Ontario – April 11, 2013 – Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the Canadian vaccine division of the Sanofi Group, has been inducted into the 2013 Canadian Marketing Healthcare Hall of Fame Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the healthcare industry.

The Canadian Healthcare Marketing Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to honour lifetime achievement in healthcare marketing. This award is the highlight of the annual National Pharmaceutical Congress organized by the Chronicle Companies.

“Through a career spanning over 30 years, Mark Lievonen has made a lasting impact on the industry and served as a source of inspiration to others,” said Mitchell Shannon, Publisher, The Chronicle Newspapers, which sponsors the award. “The judging committee was impressed by Mr. Lievonen’s extraordinary dedication and commitment to the profession. Under his leadership, Sanofi Pasteur has become a billion dollar enterprise in Canada, and is a symbol of Canadian talent, innovation and R&D excellence.”

Lievonen is an active member in the life sciences sector. He is a member of several organizations, notably: Director, Oncolytics Biotech Inc.; Vice-Chair, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; First Vice-Chair, Rx&D; Chair, Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation; Director, Public Policy Forum; Governor, York University; Director, BIOTECanada; Director, Markham Stouffville Hospital; and Director, York University Development Corporation. 

“I am truly honoured to receive this recognition on behalf of Sanofi Pasteur, my colleagues and my community, and I am proud that we have been able to play a small part in preventing disease and saving lives in Canada and all around the world,” says Mark Lievonen.  “I am energized by the work we do, inspired by my passionate colleagues and humbled by our role in impacting human lives each and every day.”

Lievonen has been the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medallion (2002), the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de Mérite by the Government of France (2007), Fellow, Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants (2009) and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medallion (2012). Twenty years ago, Lievonen also spearheaded Canada’s only mentored science competition, the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC), to foster biotechnology talent in Canada among high school students.  For a complete biography click here.

Mark Lievonen joined Sanofi Pasteur Canada in 1983 and has been the President since 1999. For almost 100 years, Sanofi Pasteur has been at the forefront of innovation in vaccine R&D, and has made more than $600 million in capital expenditures since 2000.  The company manufactures over 50 million doses of vaccines in Canada for both domestic and international markets, and is the only manufacturer of 5-component acellular pertussis combination vaccines, which was launched in Canada as Pentacel® in 1997.  Sanofi Pasteur has a broad vaccine portfolio in Canada, including Pediacel®, Menactra®, Adacel®, Intanza®, Vaxigrip®, ViVaxim®, Typhim Vi® and YF-Vax®.

Nominations for the 2013 selection of honorees were solicited during the past months from the publication’s readers.  Since 1988, 95 healthcare visionaries, original thinkers and leaders have been honoured with this prestigious distinction. Numerous submissions were received and a committee consisting of the publications' editors and an ad hoc group of industry advisors undertook the difficult task of determining from among the Nominees the candidates who best exemplified the qualities described above, based on the information submitted by the individual(s) making the nomination.

 

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new 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 the broadest 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: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

 

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans” and similar expressions. Although Sanofi’s management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labelling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such product candidates, the absence of guarantee that the product candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, the Group’s ability to benefit from external growth opportunities, trends in exchange rates and prevailing interest rates, the impact of cost containment policies and subsequent changes thereto, the average number of shares outstanding as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Sanofi’s annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.

 


Contacts:

 

Sanofi Pasteur                                                                       CASACOM    

Nancy Simpson                                                                       Kara Latta

T. 416-667-2955                                                                     T. 416-944-2145        

Nancy.simpson@sanofipasteur.com                                      klatta@casacom.ca

www.sanofipasteur.com                                                          www.casacom.ca

             

04/09/2013

Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada celebrates 20 years

of inspiring studies and careers in Canada’s $86 billion biotech industry

 

OTTAWA, April 9, 2013 – University graduate-level research into an experimental therapy that deploys nano-particles of gold in the fight against cancer earned an Alberta high school student, 16, top national honours today in the 2013 “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada” (SBCC).

India-born Arjun Nair, 16, a Grade 11 student at Webber Academy, Calgary, was awarded the top prize of $5,000 by a panel of eminent Canadian scientists assembled at the Ottawa headquarters of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). 

His research project, mentored at the University of Calgary, advances an experimental cancer “photothermal therapy” which involves injecting a patient with gold nanoparticles.  The particles accumulate in tumours, forming so-called “nano-bullets” that can be heated to kill cancer cells. 

Arjun showed how an antibiotic may overcome the cancer’s defences and make the promising treatment more effective.  Arjun’s research, which a panel of expert judges led by Dr. Luis Barreto deemed of “world class Masters or PhD-level quality,” also won a special $1,000 prize awarded to the project with the greatest commercial potential.  See a full project description below (and online at http://bit.ly/12i4QIP)

Eleven brilliant students from nine Canadian regions, all just 16 to 18 years old, took part in the national finals.  They had placed 1st at earlier regional SBCC competitions, conducted between March 21 and April 4.

Celebrating 20 years of inspiring young scientists in Canada, this year’s SBCC involved a total of 208 high school and CEGEP students collaborating on 123 projects, all mentored in professional labs over several months and submitted via the regional competitions.  Since its beginning in Toronto in 1994, some 4,500 young Canadians have competed in the SBCC, an event that has inspired sister BioGENEius competitions in the USA and Australia.

2nd place, $4,000 -- British Columbia: Selin Jessa, 17, Grade 12, Dr. Charles Best Secondary School, Coquitlam, won the $4,000 2nd place prize with research into how genetic mutations naturally help some HIV patients escape symptoms.  Project description: http://bit.ly/16u1zZj

Arjun and Selin will compete for Canada April 22-23 at the International BioGENEius Challenge, conducted at the annual BIO conference, this year in Chicago.

3rd place, $3,000 -- Quebec: Eunice Linh You, 17, Grade 11, Laval Liberty High School, Laval, who investigated how to tailor stem cell treatments for Parkinson’s disease (see http://bit.ly/YtJJnq)

4th place, $2,000 -- Greater Toronto: Lauren Chan, 17, Grade 12, University of Toronto Schools, who described a potential new therapy to reduce the severity of diabetes (see http://bit.ly/YQKWon)

5th place, $1,000 -- Manitoba: Daniel Huang, 16, Grade 11, St. John’s Ravenscourt School, Winnipeg, who discovered a potential new tactic to fight the world's deadliest brain cancer  (see http://bit.ly/14LeurK)

Honorable mention, $500:

Newfoundland, Jared Trask, 18, Kaitlyn Stockley, 17, Grade 12, Holy Spirit High School, Conception Bay West, who, for the second consecutive year, won the Atlantic region competition by proving novel ideas for creating biofuels (see http://bit.ly/YZkOVp);

Eastern Ontario, Adamo Young, 16, Grade 11, Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Ottawa, who found that altering its nitrogen supply appears to tame a toxic fungus that ruins billions worth of grain worldwide (see http://bit.ly/YtJOaB);

Southwestern Ontario, Melanie Grondin, 17, Shawn Liu, 18, Vincent Massey Secondary School, Windsor, who found a marker in medicine's quest for the holy grail of leukaemia treatments: limitless supplies of healthy stem cells (see http://bit.ly/XGWICS).

Saskatchewan, Saruul Uuganbayar, 17, Grade 12, Centennial Collegiate, Saskatoon, who invented a molecular therapy for mutated cells with the dream of curing cancer (see http://bit.ly/XGWBqX); and 

Following the presentation ceremony at the NRC, the students were received by Governor-General David Johnston at Rideau Hall, a distinguished educator prior to his vice-regal appointment.

Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Skills Development, keynote speaker at the awards ceremony, said: “It is so important that we have all of our skills and talent at work in Canada and the SBCC offers students a fantastic opportunity to experience science and technology in new ways, hopefully encouraging them toward exciting careers. I want to congratulate the winners, and all of the participants, of this year’s competition and I thank the organizers for all of the work that they have done in supporting young people in science.”

Sanofi Canada President and CEO Jon Fairest, who presented the top national prize, said: "The Sanofi Group is very proud to be founding sponsors of the Sanofi BioGENEIus Challenge Canada (SBCC) and participate in this milestone competition. With its 20-year heritage, the SBCC shows how critical partnerships are to advance science and talent in Canada. From the mentoring provided by dedicated academics, to the support of government and the private sector, the SBCC truly stands out as a model for collaboration. The SBCC and the incredible students who participate inspire us to all think differently about our future and ensure we have a strong foundation in place to create a sustainable healthcare system in Canada.”

The SBCC gives young scientists access to professional labs and academic mentors, encouraging the pursuit of future studies and careers in the country’s fast-growing biotechnology sector.

Each of the students worked for months conducting research and collaborating with university mentors.

* * * * *

Aiming to create an effective cancer-killing nano-bullet made of gold

Helping science develop a nano-bullet to defeat cancer is the futuristic vision of Arjun Nair, a 16-year-old Calgary high school student.

These “bullets” are formed by gold nanoparticles that, when injected into a patient, accumulate in cancerous tumours. Using light, the gold nanoparticles rapidly heat up in the tumours, killing only the cancer cells. Known as photothermal therapy (PTT), the idea has shown promise but isn't that effective because cancer cells fight back, producing heat-shock proteins to protect themselves.

Arjun looked into the use of an antibiotic (17-AAG) to defeat cancer’s defence.

Nanoparticles are less than millionth of the size of grain of sand, making them pretty difficult to make and work with, says Arjun. He spent the last two years working on his idea, including the past year between Simon Trudel’s and David Cramb's Nanoscience Labs at the University of Calgary.

It's rare for a high-tech lab to allow a high school student to work with its expensive equipment but Dr. Cramb, Dr. Simon Trudel and Lab Manager, Amy Tekrony provided access and all important mentorship, he says.

“Proof-of-concepts were developed and tested in order to demonstrate the viability of PTT,” says Arjun.  “Moreover, after analyzing the literature a mathematical model was developed to evaluate a theoretical synergetic treatment.”

“I've entered science competitions since Grade 5. I really enjoy taking my ideas and making them happen in real life,” says Arjun, who also enjoys debating, sports and volunteer work.

He dreams of doing science in university, perhaps pursuing a career in medical research. One of the best parts of the competition was the great friendships Arjun has made. “I'm part of community of students who love sharing ideas and talking science.”

* * * * *

The nine final national projects were presented at NRC headquarters Monday April 8 to a panel of eminent Canadian scientists:

  • Dr. Luis Barreto, MD, Chief Judge, Bioscience Education Canada 
  • Dr. Roman Szumski, Vice President Research, National Research Council Canada
  • Dr. Paul Lasko, Scientific Director, Institute of Genetics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Science, York University
  • Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada 
  • Dr. Ron Pearlman, Associate Scientific Director, Gairdner Foundation
  • Dr. Jerome Konecsni, President, Innovation Saskatchewan

On the panel as well: Ms. Janelle Tam, 18, of Waterloo, Ontario, SBCC’s national first-place winner in 2012.

National Awards Presenters, National Research Council Canada, April 9, 2013:

Commercialization Award - Dr. Ron Pearlman, Associate Scientific Director, Gairdner Foundation

5th Place - Dr. Alison Symington, VP, Corporate Development, Ontario Genomics Institute / Genome Canada

4th Place -- Dr. Spriros Pagiatakis, Associate Dean, Research & Partnerships, York University

3rd Place - Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

2nd Place - John McDougall, President, National Research Council of Canada

1st Place – Jon Fairest, President and CEO, Sanofi Canada

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. The initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the National Research Council Canada/ Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC), York University, Genome Canada and the Government of Canada’s Youth Awareness Program. Canada’s respected Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada has inspired counterpart competitions in the USA and Australia.

For more information, please see Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/11MtXX9), visit sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter @BioscienceEdCan

 

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. 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 the broadest 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: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

 

Media Contacts:

Terry COLLINS

tc@tca.tc

Tel: 416-878-8712; 416-538-8712

 

Kara LATTA

CASACOM Toronto

klatta@casacom.ca

Tel: 416-944-2145

 

Martine VENNE

CASACOM Montréal

mvenne@casacom.ca

Tel: 514-286-2145 ext 228

 

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