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Research & Development

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As people live longer, chronic conditions are on the rise. New viruses and diseases are emerging while old enemies like cancer and neurodegenerative diseases remain. Sanofi is driven by the scope of these health challenges.

As researchers, we’re passionate about scientific excellence because we know that what we do today may improve the lives of people tomorrow. We work to transform scientific knowledge and medical advances into cutting-edge therapies for patients. Discovering solutions to the world’s most pressing unmet medical needs is our top priority and inspires us to be the best possible health journey partner for patients.

Sanofi’s R&D community is made up of scientists, physicians, technicians, product and manufacturing engineers and many others who contribute to our scientific leadership. Our goal is breakthrough innovation that can transform, extend and potentially save lives.

Innovative approaches

To unlock the best science for tomorrow, the scientists, physicians, technicians, researchers, partners, and other world-class innovators who make up Sanofi’s Research & Development community are taking bold steps with the aim to transform, extend and save lives. Sanofi is:

  • investing in multi-targeting therapies that will tackle multiple diseases with a single drug;
  • working on combination therapies to make treatments more effective;
  • advancing the development of new biologics to produce precision medicines;
  • conducting breakthrough research to unlock the potential of gene therapy;
  • leveraging Artificial Intelligence and innovative digital technologies to spearhead the next generation of therapeutic solutions that empower patients to better manage chronic conditions.
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R&D portfolio

At the beginning of February 2018, the R&D pipeline contained 70 projects including 36 new molecular entities and novel vaccines in clinical development. 25 projects are in Phase 3 or have been submitted to the regulatory authorities for approval.

Research areas

Sanofi is investing in seven research areas to find innovative solutions for unmet needs:

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Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality, with a prevalence estimated at over half a billion patients. Our research is focused on developing new therapeutics that target the underlying causes of heart failure, cardiomyopathy, hyperlipidemia and vascular disease. Our aim is to help improve people’s lives through innovative, non-invasive approaches to treatment.
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About 425 million people worldwide were living with diabetes in 2015, and this number is expected to rise to more than 640 million by 2040. Our work is focused on developing pioneering new medicines, including treatments that go beyond insulin replacement therapy. We also are targeting therapies that could prevent diabetes-related complications. Additionally, our researchers are leveraging the latest digital technologies and innovations to personalize and optimize treatment solutions.
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Vaccines & Infectious Diseases

Common infectious diseases such as the flu, which causes between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths per year, and complex diseases such as dengue fever affect populations throughout the world. Our vaccine division brings a long and widely-recognized heritage in the groundbreaking discovery and development of vaccines that have saved millions of lives. We also have a long legacy in non-vaccine infectious disease therapies such as antibiotics and antimalarials. As a health journey partner, we continue to seek breakthroughs to combat viruses and infectious diseases that have a global impact.
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There is a significant unmet need within autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. For example, rheumatoid arthritis affects 70 million people worldwide. As a health journey partner, we are committed to developing therapies for the treatment of immune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, asthma and allergies. While most current therapies aim to control and stabilize these diseases, we focus on finding treatments that specifically target the immunological dysfunctions of the disease. We use precision immunology to identify the genes and molecules that cause the disease in each patient in order to develop targeted therapies. Our multi-targeting approach enables a multi-prong attack on cells and pathways that are driving the disease.
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Multiple Sclerosis / Neurology

Diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) account for 7 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the world. For most of these conditions, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, there are no treatments to slow or halt disease progression. The unmet need for patients is tremendous and yet the disease burden extends even further: 1 in every 3 people will care for a loved one with a central nervous system disorder. As a health journey partner, we are hard at work discovering and developing potential disease-modifying treatments for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other genetic diseases that affect the central nervous system.
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In the last 20 years, scientists and drug developers have made tremendous strides to fight cancer, but we have yet to win the battle. Cancer took the lives of 8.8 million people in 2015 alone, and the number of cases is expected to rise by 70% over the next two decades. Sanofi has a legacy in chemotherapy and small molecules to produce therapies to improve patient outcomes or delay the progression of the disease. Today, Sanofi brings together cutting-edge research in immuno-oncology and biologics with leading experts that are using new therapeutic approaches to develop the next generation of cancer treatments.
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Rare Diseases

Life is a health journey that for some starts with being born with a rare genetic disorder. There are more than 7,000 rare diseases in the world, and 30% of children affected will die before reaching their 5th birthday. As a health journey partner, we are committed to developing breakthrough therapies for patients who might otherwise have few treatment options. Our research efforts in rare diseases are focused mainly on Gaucher disease, Pompe disease, Fabry disease and non-neurological forms of acid sphinogomyelinase deficiency, also known as Niemann-Pick disease type B.