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Carroll School of Management

Christopher A. Viehbacher

Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi, and Chairman, Genzyme Corporation

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston 

March 6, 2012

TAKEAWAY: FUNDING CHALLENGES

When you look though at what happened last year, for example, we spent in the United States over $100 billion on research and development. About two-thirds of that was in the private sector between the pharmaceutical industry and the biotech sector. And one-third, principally dominated by the NIH, came out of the public sector. In 2010, 22 new drugs and vaccines came out of that. Last year more came out of that, but still we’re talking about under 50.

Today, what we are seeing is that venture capital has largely dried up, particularly for start-up companies. If you were at any kind of biotech gathering, you will find that funding is the number one issue on the agenda. The science has never been more promising. It has never been more difficult to fund a new idea.