Paris hospitals (AP-HP) and Sanofi join forces to accelerate clinical research to stem COVID-19 epidemic in France

Press release

In light of the scale and urgency of the COVID-19 epidemic, Europe’s biggest university hospital center AP-HP and France’s leading pharma firm Sanofi, are joining forces to speed up clinical research to stem the epidemic. While treating patients and protecting health workers are immediate priorities, research remains vital to find and test new organization methods and treatments to deal with the epidemic.

Paris (France) - March 13, 2020 - Under Professor Gabriel Steg, Vice-Chairman of the Management Board in charge of research, AP-HP has formed a scientific committee to coordinate logistics and financial support for research carried out by its staff.

AP-HP and Sanofi, who are long-standing partners, have three priorities:

- Funding. A seed fund freed up by Sanofi to support research conducted by the teams at AP-HP, who are rallying to deal with the epidemic;

- Collaborating. Both parties are eager to strengthen cooperation with their partners and public and private stakeholders to help medical and scientific teams keep up the pace to find appropriate treatments and meet the many scientific and organizational challenges of this health crisis.

- Expediting. Strategic management of the teams’ projects will help fast-track the launch of clinical trials. The hope is to quickly assess new drugs, vaccines, and new care organization methods like the COVIDOM home monitoring app created by AP-HP. Thanks to this partnership and the framework agreement between AP-HP and Sanofi, treatments discovered by Sanofi can be evaluated by AP-HP’s teams.

Given the urgent need for new treatments, AP-HP and Sanofi both firmly believe that public academic research and private research must coordinate to find appropriate treatments fast.

The challenge is to increase the pace!

Since the arrival of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), AP-HP has been on the front line dealing with an unprecedented health crisis. At its 39 hospitals, and particularly at Bichat, Necker and La Pitié-Salpêtrière, reference centers for infectious diseases, exceptional measures have been taken to organize screening, receive patients and devise care strategies. AP-HP is the hospital group receiving the highest number of contagious patients and deploying the most healthcare professionals.

Research teams in France and abroad have rallied fast.  

A dozen research projects have already been launched or are awaiting funding at AP-HP, whose organization, size and many partnerships with research organizations and universities are extraordinary assets. Now especially with clinical teams in dire demand, there are not enough financial and human resources to rapidly create cohorts and biological collections that researchers need.

This partnership with AP-HP reflects Sanofi’s commitment to public health in France and around the world, and to combat the dangers it faces.

Olivier Bogillot, President of Sanofi France, announced: “Given the urgency and the seriousness of this pandemic, last week Sanofi promised the French President that it would provide all the support, resources and expertise it could to French public authorities. This partnership with AP-HP will hopefully lead to significant progress to help protect people’s health and lives.To deal with the global health threat of this new coronavirus, it is absolutely vital to join forces and for researchers, French authorities and the pharmaceutical industry to work together to combat Covid-19.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Sanofi has tirelessly continued to apply its knowledge of vaccines in particular and its breakthrough technologies to attempt to remedy the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus, by sharing its experience with other countries in the research and development of vaccines with the CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations). With a legacy of scientific discoveries and its experience with SARS in 2002, Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccines division, is also involved in the search for a coronavirus vaccine.

According to Professor Gabriel Steg, “Given the magnitude of the scientific challenges and the need for urgent research to provide appropriate clinical care and treatments, academics must join forces with the industry to support and expedite research projects.” 

France’s public health challenge: plan for the future

This alliance should also enable our country to rapidly respond to this kind of epidemic by strengthening cooperation between all public and private stakeholders able to counter a crisis of this magnitude.

About AP-HP

Europe's leading university hospital center, AP-HP and its 39 hospitals are organized into six university hospital groups (AP-HP Centre - Paris University; AP-HP Sorbonne University; AP-HP North - Paris University; AP-HP Paris Saclay University; AP-HP Henri Mondor University Hospitals and AP-HP Paris Seine-Saint-Denis University Hospitals) and are associated with five universities in the greater Paris area. Closely linked to major research organizations, AP-HP has three world-class university hospital institutes (ICM, ICAN, IMAGINE) and France’s largest health data warehouse (EDS). Playing a major role in applied research and innovation in health care, AP-HP has 650 active patents, its clinician-scientists produce around 9,000 scientific publications each year and over 4,000 research projects are currently in development with various sponsors. In 2015 AP-HP also created the AP-HP Research Foundation to support biomedical and health research carried out in all its hospitals.


AP-HP media relations Sanofi media relations 
Eléonore Duveau & Anne-Cécile Bard  Quentin Vivant

Tel.: +33 (0)1 40 27 37 22  Tel.: +33 (0)1 53 77 46 46

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