Formulation lap: Sanofi turns to McLaren for manufacturing efficiency

Sanofi has teamed with Formula 1 racing team McLaren to optimise manufacturing efficiencies within its network.

The multiyear deal will see Sanofi’s Industrial Affairs team benefit from McLaren Racing team’s digital and analytical expertise tto achieve excellence in manufacturing operations.

“Analysis of losses, modelling and simulation of production line scheduling, and specifically product change-overs, will be key areas to maximise performance in Sanofi manufacturing sites,” McLaren said in a press release.

Image c/o Carey Akin/Flickr/commons.wikimedia.org

Both Sanofi and McLaren Racing “operate in a truly fast-paced, competitive and high-performance environment, leveraging innovation, technology and data to drive continuous improvement, every day,” a Sanofi spokesperson told BioProcess Insider.

While they could not share details regarding specific operations, we were told the partnership will give the French pharma giant the opportunity to improve its manufacturing efficiencies and expand the global reach for its medicines.

“Anything we can do to improve our performance will provide us additional capacity to meet our growth ambitions, give us additional agility to secure supply and help to optimize our cost base,” the spokesperson said. 

“It will also provide us the capacity and the flexibility that we need to deliver on the full potential of our portfolio and prepare for the launch of up to 25 new products coming through our R&D pipeline by 2026.”

Paul Hudson, Sanofi’s CEO, added in a statement: “We are thrilled to partner with McLaren and learn from their winning spirit and culture of going over and above. I see a lot of commonalities in our shared values to stretch, with courage and determination, so we can maximize performance and operational excellence. We want to run our lines with the speed, precision and efficiency of an F1 racing team.”

The partnership between the Big Pharma firm and the motoring trailblazer is not as unlikely as it first sounds. Pharma peer GlaxoSmithKline teamed with McLaren in 2011 to optimise its own manufacturing network. One result of the collaboration led to GSK increasing the daily production of inhalers for its asthma treatment Breo Ellipta by from 45,000 to 55,000 at a plant in Ware, UK after McLaren’s technology experts identified bottlenecks in production lines.