Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Parallel Pharma Universe First Side Effect of CERN Collider

Well, the Large Hadron Collider powered up underneath the border of France and Switzerland today. No black holes yet, folks. But we may have entered a parallel universe.

At about the same time the first particle beam zipped through the 27km circular tunnel, French Big Pharma Sanofi-Aventis confirmed the Reuters reports from yesterday, announcing it had indeed hired ex-GSK exec Chris Viehbacher to replace Gerard Le Fur as CEO. The company's release stated rather simply: "the evolution of the worldwide pharmaceutical sector requires the key players to acutely redefine their strategy." No arguments here.

To be fair, since the French company's takeover of Aventis in 2004 Sanofi has lost a modicum of its Francocentrism. But the idea that an outsider, much less a non-Frenchman (and yes, we're aware of his french cred, but still), would become CEO of the French giant seemed a bit far fetched . At least until they turned on the LHC.

Coincidentally, Sanofi's share boost on the news created nearly enough market cap to pay for the CHF 10 billion particle accelerator.

No comments: