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Media Room

Contact us

Sanofi Canada

2905 Place Louis-R.-Renaud 
Laval, Quebec, H7V 0A3

Media inquiries

Toll-free: 1-877-904-2667

Catherine Cunningham
Manager, Corporate and
Brand Communications

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Content :

Bench to Bedside Conference for Youth

Speech delivered by Franca Mancino
Vice-President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Sanofi Canada


Good morning everyone.

We are proud to be a lead sponsor of the second Bench to Bedside Conference for Youth, along with PerfectMIND, 3M and 4Imprint. Thank you all so much for being here today at what I know will be a fascinating and inspirational event.

We are thrilled to be collaborating with the McGill Faculty of Medicine in presenting today’s event. It is a tremendous privilege to count on the support of one of Canada’s most prestigious medical faculties and to be here among its members today.

I’m so encouraged to see that over 150 talented young people from across Montreal will have the unique opportunity to learn more about careers in medical practice and medical research.

I remember when I was in high school. Science was my passion. As I thought about my future, I knew that I wanted to continue to study science, I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know what path to take. 

There are so many choices open to young people who want to pursue a career in research and medicine, and the first step involves understanding the wealth of opportunities that are available. That’s what today’s conference will achieve, and I wish that I’d had this opportunity when I was in high school.

I would also like to recognize the very talented doctors and researchers who will be giving presentations and leading demonstrations here today.

At today’s conference we’ll be exploring the growing medical field of translational medicine. A series of inspirational presentations and engaging workshops will relate this broad concept to specific examples, and you will learn how bench discoveries are "translated" into therapeutics through the bench-bedside continuum.

So, let’s jump right into it. During the next few minutes, I’d like to tell you a little bit more about Sanofi Canada, who we are and what we do, and the many ways we could potentially work together in the future. And finally, I will give you Sanofi’s vision for translational medicine – or, as you call it, from Bench to Bedside - and why it is so important.

Who we are

Sanofi is one of the world’s top 5 pharmaceutical companies. We employ more than 110,000 employees located in more than 110 countries across the globe. Sanofi is committed to discovering, developing and distributing therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. And that’s why we are so encouraged by this event, which is also investing in the future of healthcare by encouraging the next generation of doctors and researchers.

In Canada, we employ about 1,700 people and we are a top healthcare investor in research and development.  Our scope of activities covers everything from diabetes solutions to human vaccines to innovative drugs to animal health.

Let’s take a look at diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that currently affects 366 million people worldwide. In 2030, this number will increase to about half a billion patients.

Whether hereditary or acquired, diabetes is a chronic disease, which means it lasts a lifetime. It is linked to a variety of factors, including a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet. Its explosion is due to changing lifestyles and to urbanization in emerging countries.

Sanofi has therefore made diabetes a priority: in research and also in access to treatment. Incidentally, one of our insulins is the most widely distributed in the world. We also want to accompany patients by offering medical devices that improve their daily lives.

Now, if we look at vaccines, every year, 130 million children are brought into the world. For each of these children, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent disease. That’s why Sanofi Pasteur produces and distributes more than a billion vaccines against polio, influenza, meningitis, whooping cough and even some tropical diseases.

More than ever, Sanofi Pasteur’s teams are committed to researching and developing new vaccines. This research allows us to work on the development of the first vaccine to prevent dengue, an infectious disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes, which can cause very serious complications that potentially threaten almost half of the world’s population.

Finally, animal health is one of Sanofi’s core businesses, and Merial, a Sanofi company, is a world leader.

7 billion people on this planet need to be fed, and we are regularly faced with epidemics that affect our food supply.

Our employees develop treatments that improve the health and well-being of livestock and pets such as rabies, foot and mouth disease and avian flu.

At the end of the day, protecting animal health means protecting human health.

Where we are going and how we might be working together one day

Obviously, the goal of today’s conference is to inspire you to pursue a career in medicine or medical research by helping you better understand how the two fields are connected.

There is such a wealth of career opportunities in science and medicine. At this conference, you will be inspired about specific career paths that you might not have heard about.

I hope that by now you’re getting a sense of the multiple touch points between a company like ours and a career in science or medicine.

At Sanofi, many of our employees are involved in research. At a global level, this represents more than 17,000 employees across 40 countries working every day to develop new healthcare solutions.

This includes a wide range of scientific activities, from preclinical research to clinical studies to regulatory monitoring of medicines on the market.

So what does translational medicine mean concretely?

Translational medicine is a discipline within biomedical and public health research that aims to improve the health of individuals and the community by “translating” scientific findings into diagnostic tools, medicines, vaccines, solutions, procedures and education. In other words, it’s about understanding the science behind the disease, and putting that science into practice.
Translational medicine makes it possible to discover new diagnostic tools and treatments by taking this “bench-to-bedside” approach.

Over the past few years, we have been shaping our organization by connecting all of Sanofi’s R&D departments, whether it be animal health, oncology, rare diseases or vaccines.

Why? Because there is tremendous convergence in science. We are seeking to tap the full creative force of our innovation throughout the world and leverage it company-wide.

We also continue to partner with leading scientific and medical groups, as well as with other companies, in order to accelerate our activities in all areas.

As of today, we still haven’t found a cure for a lot of diseases. But thanks to research, the way we treat those diseases is improving all the time.

In oncology, for example, we no longer treat a specific type of cancer but the distinctive features of a tumour.

At Sanofi, our focus on partnership and innovation is essential to discovering new strategies in the fight against cancer. We strongly believe in the power of translational medicine, and work internally and externally to strengthen cooperation between all researchers whose work is focused on patients.

We have been successful in seeking out the best science, the best partnerships, for the discovery and development of new medicines for treating cancer. Through our own research and development capabilities and our numerous partnerships, we strive to accelerate the cycle of innovation.

But our work is not yet done. And that’s where all of you come in.

You, the doctors and researchers of tomorrow, will be facing a set of challenges and opportunities that are very different from what we are currently facing, and so it’s important that you be prepared.

Canada’s aging population means that, in the coming years, our need for healthcare will be at an all-time high. It is essential that we have the right resources to meet this demand.

You, the doctors and researchers of tomorrow, will have to be prepared to do more with less, and you will also be required to stay on the cutting edge of the changes that will be affecting public health at a very rapid pace.

This conference is so important, as it helps you to understand the link between medical research and medical practice.

I leave today’s conference reassured, as looking around this room, I am certain that the future of healthcare in Quebec and Canada is bright.


So as I wrap-up my presentation, I would like to take a moment to once again commend the work of Kian Sani and his team of William, David and Eunice in making this conference a reality. You are a stellar example of the kind of people who will make a difference in research and medicine in the coming years. You are also an example of the values that keep healthcare companies like Sanofi on the cutting edge. Well done.

Thank you all very much for being here, and I know that you will make the most of this opportunity.

Last update: January 17, 2015

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