Sanofi-Aventis to cut 1,700 jobs in the US

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Sanofi-Aventis logo
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Sanofi is in the middle of a hostile takeover bid for US biotech firm Genzyme

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis has announced it will shed 1,700 jobs from its US workforce.

The move is part of a restructuring process that will allow the company to focus on drugs for diabetes, cancer and heart problems, it said.

The cuts represent 13% of the firm's total workforce of 13,000 in the US.

Like many major pharmaceuticals companies, Sanofi is facing increased competition from generic drug companies.

"Given the serious challenges facing our organization and the health care industry, it is important to act decisively now so that our organisation has greater stability and that our resources are allocated to our strategic growth priorities," said Gregory Irace, chief executive of Sanofi's US and Canadian pharmaceutical operations.

The group is in the middle of an $18.5bn (£11.8bn) hostile takeover bid for US biotech company Genzyme.

Sanofi said the cuts were not related to the bid.

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