Drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis to close some research labs, review status of others in restructuring

Sanofi-Aventis to close some plants, restructure

PARIS — French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA announces a major corporate restructuring on the heels of new safety concerns that could hurt sales of a key drug, its once-a-day insulin Lantus.

The world’s third-largest pharmaceutical firm says it is reorganizing research operations to boost innovation. The plan includes offering voluntary buyouts to an unspecified number of employees in France, plus closing four research sites and possibly selling a fifth one there. Those sites employ about 650 people.

The company also is looking at selling or making changes to labs that do preclinical research in the U.S., United Kingdom, Japan and Spain.

The Paris-based company is a top maker of flu vaccine and also sells the popular anticlotting medicines Plavix and Lovenox.

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