News Archives

04/04/2013

To create a culture of innovation in Canada, Mark Lievonen says we must nurture young scientists.

You can read the full article here.

03/07/2013

Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada celebrates 20 years of advancing science

74% of SBCC participants pursued science careers thanks to national biotechnology research competition

 

TORONTO, ON, March 7, 2013 – Over the past 20 years, over 4,500 high school students across Canada have participated in the “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)”, a national biotechnology research competition that encourages students to pursue careers in science.  Inspired by the question “How will you change the world?” these Canadian teens, mentored by leading academics and scientists, have created astounding and life-changing scientific discoveries, many of which have been patented and commercialized.

 

Now in its 20th year, the “2013 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)”  starts in mid-March and culminates in a national awards ceremony in Ottawa on April 9.  For many of the students, it provides a path to careers and research in science and biotechnology. According to a survey of past SBCC participants by Bioscience Education Canada[1], 84% said their participation in the competition helped determine their field of study or career plan and 74% were pursuing biotechnology-related education or professions.  Nearly 60% of respondents were female.

 

Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Canada, which helped establish the competition in 1993, explains: "Twenty years ago, we saw the SBCC as a way to give back. Today, we see that these teens have achieved real results, which shows the power of science to accelerate Canadian competitiveness and productivity. The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) stands as a symbol of collaboration between industry, government and academia and has helped foster a culture of innovation in Canada. With the right talent, funding and intellectual property protection we can cultivate the next generation of leaders to shape Canada’s future.” To hear more of Mr. Lievonen’s perspective, click here.

 

Some of the celebrated discoveries of the past 20 years include:   

  • In 2007, at age 17, Ted Paranjothy of Winnipeg developed a now- patented anti-cancer agent able to kill human cancer cells without harming healthy ones. He is the only Canadian that has won both the 2007 SBCC regional and national competitions, and the Sanofi-sponsored International BioGENEius Challenge. Now 22, Ted is an independent researcher in cell science at the University of Manitoba.
  • Grade 9 student Rui Song of Saskatoon won the #1 national award in 2010 for her work to genetically fingerprint a lentil crop-killing fungus that “astonished” the judges.  She placed second in the 2012 competition and today, in Grade 12, is weighing full-time university offers.
  • In 2011, Montreal CEGEP students Simon Leclerc, Jonathan Khouzam and Francis Marcogliese came second in the National competition for their work to make a sorbet for vegetarians, developing a substitute for the animal-based gelatine normally found in the popular frozen dessert. They received a special award for the project with the greatest commercial potential.
  • 2012 national competitors Jeanny Tao, 18, and Miranda Wang, 19 of Vancouver, identified a species of bacteria from the Fraser River’s muddy banks that helps decompose plastic.  They received a special prize for the “greatest commercial potential, and shared their story at Ted@Vancouver and TED 2013 in Los Angeles.
  • The 2012 national winner, Grade 12 student Janelle Tam of Waterloo, detailed the anti-aging potential of a nano compound found in wood pulp, capturing media attention in at least 36 countries. She starts at Princeton this fall.

 

“With its 20-year heritage, the SBCC shows how critical partnerships are to advance science and talent in Canada,” Jon Fairest, CEO of Sanofi Canada, said. “From the mentoring provided by dedicated academics, to the support of government and the educational sector, the SBCC truly stands out as a model for innovative public-private partnerships. Together, we must all think differently about our future and ensure we have the right foundation in place.”

 

Rick Levick, Executive Director, Bioscience Education Canada, which coordinates the SBCC,commented, “The original competition was known as the BIO-Connaught Student Biotechnology Competition and was a side event to the international BIO conference in Toronto.  In 2002, it expanded Canada-wide, and is now replicated in Australia and the US.  The “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)” is different from other science competitions because our students work with mentors and have access to the highest quality lab equipment and supplies. With the support of founding sponsors like Sanofi Pasteur Canada, we are working to accelerate science and build a Canadian talent pool in the in biotechnology sector.”

 

Regional competitions begin in Manitoba on March 21. Over the next few weeks, award ceremonies  will take place in Winnipeg, MB (March 21), Vancouver, BC (April 4), Calgary, AB (April 2), Saskatoon, SK (March 27), Southwestern Ontario/Hamilton, ON (March 27), Toronto, ON (March 28), Eastern Ontario/Ottawa, ON (March 28), Montreal, Quebec (March 28) and Atlantic Canada/Moncton, NB (March 27). The winners of each regional competition will present their work at the national competition, held at the headquarters of the National Research Council in Ottawa on April 9, 2013. The first and second place winners of the “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)” will advance to the International BioGENEius Challenge held in Chicago, IL on April 21, in conjunction with the BIO Annual International Convention. For a full schedule of dates, locations and judges, click here.

 

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. Coordinated by Bioscience Education Canada since its beginning in 1993, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, Genome 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) and the Government of Canada’s Youth Awareness Program.

 

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

 

For more information, please visit sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, follow us on Facebook or Twitter @BioscienceEdCan #SBCC2013

 

Media Contacts:

Kara LATTA

CASACOM

klatta@casacom.ca

Tel: 416-944-2145

 

Martine VENNE

CASACOM

mvenne@casacom.ca

Tel: 514-286-2145 ext 228

 

Terry COLLINS

Bioscience Education Canada

tc@tca.tc

Tel: 416-538-8712; 416-878-8712 (m)



[1] Survey involved 375 of an estimated 4,500 past SBCC participants since 1994)

 

12/03/2012

 Sanofi Pasteur Canada receives Health Canada Approval of Menactra® Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine Indication for Infants starting at 9 months

 

Indication Provides Earlier Protection Against Meningococcal Disease

TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 3, 2012 - Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi Group (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today that Health Canada has approved the expansion of the indication for Menactra® (Meningococcal [Groups A, C, Y and W-135] Polysaccharide Diphtheria Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine) down to infants nine months of age.[1]  Menactra® is a vaccine for the prevention of meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal disease caused by strains A, C, Y and W-135 of the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, in persons nine months through 55 years old.[2]

 

Invasive meningococcal disease is an acute and serious illness caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.[3] In fatal cases, death can occur within 24 to 48 hours after symptoms appear.[4] Of those who survive, some (11-19%) may suffer from permanent disabilities, including hearing loss, neurological damage, limb loss and paralysis.[5] Meningococcal disease most often occurs in children less than five years of age and peaks again in adolescence.[6]

 

“Diagnosis of meningitis can be very difficult, as it mimics the symptoms of flu. Meningitis can lead not only to death, but lifelong health problems including brain damage, loss of limbs and developmental disorders,” said Dr. Ron Gold, medical advisor for the Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada. “Approval for use of Menactra® vaccine as early as nine months of age expands our ability to prevent this potentially deadly disease in infants.”

Maureen Dennis, parenting expert and founder of WeeWelcome.ca, said “After speaking with mothers who lost their children to meningitis, I became rather concerned and realized that there was much more to know about this preventable disease. It’s unthinkable that an infant can quickly go from their crib to the ICU at Sick Kids, a fate no parent should experience. Parents need to know more about immunization and about meningitis in particular.”

Meningitis spreads through close, direct contact.[7] Coughing or sneezing, sharing eating utensils, kissing and close physical contact can spread the germs from person to person.[8] In Canada meningitis is most prevalent during winter and spring.[9] According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, between 2005 and 2010, an average of 197 cases of invasive meningococcal disease was reported annually in Canada, with an average incidence of 0.60 cases per 100,000 population.[10]

 

About Menactra® Vaccine

Menactra® (Meningococcal  [Groups A, C, Y and W-135] Polysaccharide Diphtheria Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine) is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of invasive meningococcal disease caused by N. meningitis strains A, C, Y and W-135 in persons age nine months through 55 years of age.[11]

Menactra® does not protect against disease caused by strain B, and is not a treatment for meningococcal infections or their complications.[12] The length of protection is currently not known.[13] As with any vaccine, Menactra® may not protect 100% of vaccinated individuals.[14] The amount of time it takes for your body to develop enough antibodies to protect you from meningococcal diseases can vary. It can take several days to a few weeks after your vaccination. Menactra® should not be used in persons with known severe allergy to any of its components or its container. Some persons may experience side effects, which are usually mild and go away within a few days, such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, headache, fatigue or drowsiness, lack of appetite.[15] Common side effects in infants also include fussiness, and increased crying.[16] Allergic reactions may occur.[17]  A complete copy of the Product Monograph is available at www.sanofipasteur.ca.

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 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 $1.2 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.ca

----

Contacts

Nancy Simpson, Sanofi Pasteur, Tel: 416-667-2955, Nancy.simpson@sanofipasteur.com

Jason Chennette, CASACOM, Tel: 416-894-0190, jchennette@casacom.ca

Martine Venne, CASACOM, Tel: 514-286-2145, mvenne@casacom.ca

 

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, 2011. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.                                                                     



[1] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 5)

[2] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 5)

[3] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)” Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/meningococcal-eng.php. Last accessed 14 November, 2012

[4] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 34)

[5] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 34)

[6]Public Health Agency of Canada. “Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)” Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/meningococcal-eng.php. Last accessed 14 November, 2012

[7] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)” Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/meningococcal-eng.php. Last accessed 14 November, 2012

[8] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)” Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/meningococcal-eng.php. Last accessed 14 November, 2012

[9] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)” Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/meningococcal-eng.php. Last accessed 14 November, 2012

[10] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD)” Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/meningococcal-eng.php. Last accessed 14 November, 2012

[11] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 5)

[12] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 5)

[13] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 29)

[14] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 5)

[15] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 39)

[16] Sanofi Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 39)

[17] Pasteur Canada MENACTRA® Product Monograph, June 2012 (page 39)

 

09/24/2012

Canada-wide campaign launched to find curious, talented youth!

After 19 years of competition, the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) prepares to cross its two-decade milestone. For 20 years, the competition has fostered research and collaboration between top academic mentors and over 4,000 high school whiz kids from across the country.

"We founded the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada because we recognize the importance of our youth when it comes to the future of the biotechnology industry in Canada. We believe that not only does this program benefit the life sciences industry, but Canada as a whole. It is with initiatives like the SBCC that we hope will inspire young students to pursue careers in science and biotechnology,” said Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited.

Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada 2013 competitions will be held in nine regions across the country in late March followed by a final national competition of the regional first place teams in Ottawa in April. Judges from each region will select the top winners who will compete at the national competition in Ottawa. Not only does the SBCC award cash prizes, but it also gives students an invaluable experience working with mentors at the top of their field.

Click here to learn more about this program.

09/10/2012

This October, thousands of Canadian Muslims will be embarking on one of the greatest religious observances in Islam, the Hajj and Umrah. Requiring months of mental, physical and spiritual preparation, pilgrims need to also remember the medical preparation required to start this journey.

Following the Hajj in April 2000, an outbreak of meningitis occurred in Saudi Arabia infecting 225 people and taking the lives of 57. Since then, vaccination against meningococcal meningitis with a quadrivalent vaccine such as MENACTRA® to protect against serogroups A, C, Y and W135 has been mandatory for all pilgrims over the age of two making the journey to the Saudi Arabia.

 

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