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October 17, 2009

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Sanofi-aventis opens Chengdu center

SANOFI-AVENTIS yesterday said it will set up a clinic research center in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province -- its third in China.

The French drug maker will collaborate with Chengdu-based West China Hospital and may also develop other research programs.

"In the long term, we hope to develop new drugs specifically designed for Chinese patients," said Marc Cluzel, senior vice president for research and development of Sanofi-aventis.

The drug maker is cooperating with West China Hospital to train domestic physicians and nurses under a three-year program to enhance their research in global multi-national trials for innovative drugs.

"Western China will be our biggest opportunity in the future," said Thomas Kelly, vice president for China operations.

West China Hospital has 4,300 beds, the largest single hospital in the world.

Sanofi-aventis has also signed a partnership agreement with the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences last year and teamed up with Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing to open a laboratory in June.

The Chengdu research center will have the same expertise and capability as the Shanghai center, according to Frank Jiang, head of the firm's China R&D department.

The company didn't reveal further investment information about the new center. Its two other research centers are in Shanghai and Beijing.

Jiang added that Sanofi-aventis will continue to invest in China.


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