Fueling Transformative Science Through Collaboration

Oct 06, 2021

A Q&A with Alban de-la-Sabliere, Head of Partnering, Sanofi

Through Sanofi’s Pharma Days® on October 18 & 19, the global healthcare leader will strengthen collaboration across the life sciences innovation ecosystem by showcasing its partnering capabilities, platforms, and expertise while connecting directly with potential collaborators. To learn more about Sanofi’s approach to early-stage partnerships, we sat down with Alban de-la-Sabliere, SVP Global Head of Sanofi Partnering.

What is Sanofi’s approach to innovation?   

Sanofi’s open innovation approach leverages external research through partnerships with others in biotechnology and academia to enrich our research pipeline. We will measure the success of our partnerships by how much we can contribute to the optimization of new medicines and how quickly we can accelerate their time to patients. The goal is to develop true partnerships that foster a culture of innovation and scientific excellence to deliver high-quality drug candidates. Essentially, we are betting on some of the most innovative platforms that have the potential to change treatment paradigms, such as mRNA, protein degradation, multi-specific mAbs, natural killer cells, and synthetic biology to name a few.

Science is fueled by collaboration, and throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw just how much can be achieved by pulling together across sectors and borders, our goal is to build lasting alliances that advance medicine and create value for global health.

We are constantly seeking transformative external opportunities to strengthen our capabilities through different collaborations such as with Biond, Eureka, Kymera, and C4X to name just a few, to help develop First and Best in class assets with our partners.

Collaboration and partnership are critical for success in any pharmaceutical-based R&D endeavor. No single institution, company, university, or government has a monopoly on innovation – we will only succeed by working with all those who can help us apply the wealth of new knowledge and cutting-edge technologies that are currently reshaping biopharmaceutical research. Good ideas can come from anywhere. We are committed to working with the best scientists and companies, wherever they may be.

Why is Sanofi working with MassBio to support emerging companies?   

Capturing new opportunities through productive conversations with key companies is crucial for us. We join our efforts to bring transformative treatments to patients worldwide. Highly motivated by the great success of the event last year, we are eager to sponsor the 2021 MassBio’s Pharma Day edition, which both provides us with the platform to present our strategy and vision to the biopharma community, discuss how we can work together as partners, but also to demonstrate all the benefits of partnering with Sanofi for young companies through one-on-one meetings.

The MassBio Partnering event provides an opportunity for the innovation ecosystem/community to be all together connected and join our forces towards our common mission, transformative science, and the creativity of innovators to change the lives of patients worldwide.

Which therapeutic or R&D areas does Sanofi want to partner on? What types of companies or innovators does Sanofi want to partner with. 

Sanofi is constantly seeking to build on its leadership position in immunology and inflammation, neurology, rare disease, and vaccines and grow and complement our existing oncology franchise new launches and pipeline. This includes platform technologies, in particular those related to improved R&D performance with small molecules, biologics, cell therapies, or gene therapies.

Another area we are deeply committed to is in digital. New digital solutions truly revolutionize the way we develop and deliver medicines to our patients. As shared by Arnaud Robert, our Chief Digital Officer, we are striving to become the leading digital healthcare platform that best serves employees, researchers, healthcare practitioners, health authorities, and patients. Unlocking the power of big data, artificial intelligence, in particular, machine learning is key. We aim to build innovative digital solutions across our value chain – from research and clinical development all the way to patient engagement. Partnering in this space plays an important role.

At the event this year, Sanofi will focus on two main areas:

  • Immunology (autoimmunity, chronic inflammation, checkpoint immunology, natural immunoregulatory mechanisms, immuno+ (immuno-neuro, immuno-GI etc.), immunomodulation, multi-indication MoAs)
  • Cell and Gene Therapy, and New/next generation of genome editing technologies with breakthrough potentials

How will Sanofi help emerging companies grow their businesses?   

We are proud to do our part in supporting emerging companies by ensuring that compelling research and technologies can reach their full potential and help patients’ unmet needs.  We have a Play to Win approach to partnership and we are focused on contributing to the optimization of pre-clinical compounds, leveraging our chemistry, manufacturing, and control expertise, building ambitious development plans and global commercialization plans. Our goal is to support emerging companies at different stages of their lives, by, investing in early-stage biotechs, all around the world and achieving long lasting key milestones for the development of impactful treatments. We also support/sponsor young companies through competition programs, ranging in scope from our iAwards program to our involvement in the golden tickets’ competitions.

Want to learn more about Sanofi’s approach to partnering? Register here to join Sanofi’s information sessions on October 18. 


Alban de-la-Sabliere
Head of Partnering, Sanofi

In November 2019, Alban de La Sablière was appointed SVP Global Head of Sanofi Partnering, that includes the Sanofi Ventures Fund, Business Development & Licensing and Alliance Management. He was previously SVP Head of Business Development & Licensing from October 2018. Over the last two years, Alban has overseen a repositioning of the Business Development activities in line with Sanofi strategy, including significant partnership deals with, Denali, Kiadis, Kymera, Biond, Mab Discovery, Nurix, and Translate Bio, and Venture investments into Escient, NodThera, and Lava Therapeutics. Alban joined Sanofi in January 2016 as SVP, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions. In this role he led the Bioverativ, Ablynx and Protein Sciences acquisitions, and numerous portfolio-reshaping divestments, including the sale of Zentiva. Prior to joining Sanofi, Alban worked for Morgan Stanley, where he worked with Sanofi on a number of important deals, including the merger of Sanofi & Aventis and the acquisition of Sanofi Genzyme.

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