French drug maker Sanofi (NYSE: SNY), Genzyme's parent company, has announced it will realign its French research and development sites, which could trim 900 French positions by 2015. This is fewer than the 1,000 to 2,000 reported in the French media  during the past several months. The cuts will not affect jobs in Cambridge, Mass. where Genzyme and Sanofi’s U.S. research operations are located.
Sanofi said no sites would be closed in France, but that the function of the site in Toulouse "remains to be specified." The overall thrust of the realignment is to create more specialized units. For instance, the Montpelier facility will evolve to be a strategic center focused on development activities, and the Lyon site will become a “global center of excellence in infectious diseases." Other goals include streamlining costs at Sanofi Pasteur, the company’s vaccine unit.
The company said it would seek to use early retirements and transfers in France to avoid as many layoffs as possible.
Sanofi’s stock initially rose on the news, to $44.96, up from $44.36 at the previous close. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, shares had settled back to $44.37.